What makes a healthy church?

churchThis week at Gospel.com, we’re asking an important question: what does it mean to be part of the church, the body of Christ?

The Bible makes it clear that interaction with other believers is an important part of the life of a Christ-follower. While you could certainly follow Christ in isolation from other believers, our effectiveness as Christians increases when we work with one another. “Let us not give up meeting together,” we read in Hebrews; and elsewhere the community of Christ-followers is described as a body composed of many individual parts: “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.”

So what exactly is a church, and what is it meant to accomplish? That’s a question we’ll be exploring at more length as the week goes on. But two articles by Richard Krejcir provide a good place to start the discussion. First up is What Your Church Can Look Like, which asks: what would an ideal, healthy, Biblical church look like, and what would it do?

What would your church look like if you took away the pastor(s), the music and worship, the buildings, the favored programs, the sacraments and ceremonies, as well as the events and Sunday School? What would you have left? The answer of what is left is what impacts and what resounds in your church, and is where your church’s health lies. Because doing church is not about the pastor, the observances, or the programs. It is about how we come to know and grow in Christ, connect with one another, and serve Him, both inside and outside of the church walls.

A church, then, is about helping its members worship God, grow in the faith, and serve Christ in their homes and communities. Is your church doing a good job of that, when you strip away all of its outward trappings? Krejcir goes into much more detail in a longer followup article, The Twelve Characteristics of the Healthy Church—it’s a lot to take in at first glance, but it’s well worth your time to walk through each of the twelve characteristics Krejcir lays out and ask how your church does (or doesn’t) embody them. And tune in later this week as we point to more articles about the church!

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