What are the essential characteristics of a healthy church? What are your top ten? While many authors have submitted their list (one of the more recent being Mark Dever’s, 9 Marks of a Healthy Church), it would benefit every pastor and church leader to develop and define their own list. In deed, it would serve the entire church well if we all pondered this question.
Think about it this way; how do you know if you are sick? Most of the time people decide, though perhaps reluctantly, to go see a doctor when they know that physically something is out of the ordinary. Something is wrong. When it comes to your body, you intuitively know when you are not healthy. It’s like there is an unwritten list in your mind of what it means to be healthy, and when something isn’t right, one who is wise makes every good effort to fix it.
A body of Christ, i.e. a local church, should also prepare a list of what it means to be healthy. Except this list is not held in the mind of the church member, this list comes from the mind of Christ as reflected in the Word of God. And when you sense that something on this list is deficient or altogether absent, the body of Christ is unhealthy. When you know you are unhealthy, the wise leader will make every good effort in Christ to restore the health and vigor of the body.
These posts aim to list and briefly flesh out what it looks like for a church to be healthy. The articles were part of a series of monthly letters to my church in 2014, so you will find them are under two categories. Of course, your list may be different, and in no way is my list exhaustive. However, the 10 characteristics I propose, I believe to be essential for a healthy church.