Healthy Church Characteristics

Church growth has sometimes been criticized for placing an undue emphasis upon numerical over spiritual growth. While this may have been true in the past, today the term “healthy church” is commonly used with an equal emphasis upon both. So at the risk of hearing, “I can’t believe you didn’t include <insert word> in your list!” I will give you my top ten traits of a healthy church, but not in any priority order:

Worship.  They strive to have a dynamic move of God in every service. No service can ever be called ordinary or boring.

Prayer.  They place a strong emphasis upon prayer – both corporate and private. They know prayer is the key that unlocks revival. Fasting is also encouraged regularly.

Ministry. They continually stress ministry involvement, both inward to bless the church and outward to reach the lost. At least 70% of members are actively involved in some kind of organized labor for God.

Evangelism.  They know an abundant harvest requires sowing an abundant amount of spiritual seed. An emphasis is often placed on the four most successful: bringing and following up on visitors, home Bible studies, personal witnessing, and Sunday school growth.

Family. They place a concerted effort to strengthen families with a variety of events and activities. Strong marriages and ministries to strengthen youth and children are common.

Administration.  They have a strong leadership structure and solid management practices that builds department and ministry leaders. Planning retreats, written departmental plans, and monthly planning sessions are utilized to build a solid leadership team.

Giving.  They do not neglect stewardship and tithing. Giving of treasure and talent is taught, practiced and modeled by leadership and saint alike.

Discipleship.  They encourage the growth of each individual in their walk with God. Events, programs and activities that encourage this are common each year. New convert care discipleship is especially stressed and practiced with a solid program and plan.

Gifts.  They teach and encourage both the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit. There is a freedom to minister in the gifts because the proper use of the gifts has been clearly taught and practiced.

Holiness.  Separation from the world and living a life that exalts and models Christ is preached, taught and practiced by saint and leader alike. There is no hesitation to identify sin and holy standards of living.

From IBC Perspectives Volume 26 Issue 10