Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
It is not unusual at all for people to visit their doctors on a regular basis for checkups. Sometimes they are scheduled to see their primary physician at least once a year, and more frequently if they are experiencing health issues.
Vehicles must also be checked to keep them operating properly. What about churches? Is your church checked to determine if it is operating the way it should? Do you know if you are worshipping and fellowshipping in a healthy church?
Megachurches Can Be Unhealthy
There is no guarantee that a church is healthy just because it is a megachurch with thousands of members. It could be a church with many illnesses, diseases, and viruses among the people. In other words, a healthy church is not based on its physical size, the number of members, or its budget. However, there are some obvious signs that you belong to a vibrant, thriving, and healthy church.
Read through the signs below to determine if your church is healthy or if it is in dire need of vitamins and other medicine to make it better to prolong its life.
1. Based on the Word of God
The very first chapter of the Bible mentions what God said. From Genesis 1:3 through Genesis 1:31, God created the heavens and earth with His words. God spoke words throughout the rest of the Bible. Therefore, a healthy church is based on the word of God.
It is acceptable to talk about quantum physics, politics, and everything else sometimes. However, the mission of the church should be about God and the things of God. People go to church to know more about God and His mighty works. The Bible has hundreds of examples of who God is, what He has done, and what He promises to do. People should constantly be reminded of those things.
2. Based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Any preacher who stands behind the pulpit and speaks without mentioning Jesus Christ is not delivering a sermon at all. It is just a speech. Every sermon should include what is called the "Christological move" where the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is shared. The main message of any sermon should be the gospel of the saving power of Jesus Christ.
After all, the church is the bride of Christ, and He promised to come back for one without a spot or wrinkle. Wouldn't it be awful for Jesus to come back to a building where people don't know about Him and all He came to earth to do? Wouldn't it be awful if people didn't know Him and had to be introduced to Him upon His arrival? Jesus should be the first love of any church, based on what is written to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:1-5.
3. Fellowship of the Congregation
Even though most churches meet for a worship service on Sundays and Bible Study on Wednesday nights, the church should continue through its people even after the benediction and the doors of the building are padlocked.
The church should be more than members gathering for only a brief time on Sunday mornings and mid-week. There should be loving relationships among church members throughout the week. Getting together and growing together are very important signs of a healthy church (Acts 2:42-47).
4. Evidence of Spiritual Growth
There should be some evidence of spiritual growth within all church members. Church leaders should grow and put forth every effort for everyone in the congregation to grow spiritually.
Peter gives some advice about spiritual growth:
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).
Spiritual maturity exists within a church when there is a major emphasis on spiritual disciplines such as prayer, praise, Bible study, meditation, worship, and singing.
5. Hospital for the Sick
The church is supposed to be a refuge and fortress for people. In other words, the church should not be lukewarm as the church at Laodicea described in Revelation 3:14-22. If so, Jesus said He would spit it out because it was neither hot nor cold.
Instead of the church being sick itself, it should be a hospital for the sick. The church should be a safe "haven" for people until they get to "heaven."
6. Community Involvement
The church should be a community of faith through the people who meet at their local church twice a week. The church should be in the grocery stores, in the mall, at the beach, in the park, at work, and every place a Christian goes.
Since the church is within people, when they leave the church, the church should not leave them. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He commanded His disciples to continue His message and take it to the ends of the earth. The church should continue that "Great Commission" whose concept is stated in Matthew 28:16-20. This is done through local evangelism and outreach before it develops into foreign missions, according to Acts 1:8.
Is your church alone on an island, or does it get involved in the affairs of the community? A healthy church does the latter.
There is no valid reason for any church to be unhealthy. Like a contagious disease, if the top leaders in the church are sick with sin and unrighteousness in the church, it will filter down throughout the entire church. Therefore, it is extremely important that all leaders be everything they were called to be because their spirituality affects everyone else in the church.
Just as modern medicine can heal a sick person, there are modern techniques that can also heal a sick church. Everyone should work together to make sure the church is as healthy as it can be until Jesus comes.
- How to Know If You Belong to a Toxic Church
Anything that's toxic is poisonous that can lead to ill health, danger, and harmful situations for those involved. It is unfortunate that toxic churches exist.