A healthy church does church God’s way and follows his principles

Principles for our leaders

  •  Jesus taught his disciples to obey (and to teach others to obey) - Matthew 28:19-20
  • How do we teach others to obey?
    • Through modeling – John 13:12-17
    • Through mentoring – John 21:15-17
    • Through teaching – Matthew 5:1-2
    • Through coaching – Matthew 10:5-7

This may sound like saying the same thing four times, but there are differences.  Modeling is passive, we live our lives and someone may or may not be watching.  Mentoring we know that someone is watching and is trying to imitate the way we live our life.

Teaching is more active.  We sit down with a person and instruct them how to do something.  Finally, coaching is reactive.  We watch the other person do something and then instruct them on what they do right and wrong.

Principles for our ministries

  • Our ministries must create an environment for change
    • Minds are changed through study – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
    • Hearts are changed through experiences – 1 John 4:19
    • Lifestyles are changed through encouragement & accountability – Hebrews 3:12-13, 10:24-25

In ministry, we design a lot of programs that we think are going to help someone.  Either it will help bring people to the church, or it will help someone with an addiction, or it will create more fellowship among believers.  The truth is, we say, "hey that sounds like it might work" and then we do it.

We need to be intentional in creating an environment for change.  Instead of creating an outreach that might bring people into the church, we need to decide how are we going to spread the word about this, what is going to occur at this event that would spark a person's interest in coming to our church, how are we going to follow up with the people that come.

When we implement a new ministry - prison ministry, Sunday school class, Bible study, etc. we need to ask ourselves "how will this create an environment for change?"  If we aren't interested in changing people, then there is no spiritual reason for even meeting.

 A healthy church does church God’s way and follows his principles

Principles for our church - part 1

*see introduction for more on these principles

  • Prayer-Base Strategy: prayer is the basis out of which everything else flows – Luke 11:1

Prayer is the foundation of a church.  A church cannot expect God to bless them and work with them if they are unable to communicate with God.

  • Love Environment Strategy: demonstrating love to those inside and outside our group – Mark 12:28-33

The greatest commandment is to love God and the second is to love others.  If the church lacks either of these, they will not accomplish anything for the kingdom of God.

  • Mission-Driven Strategy: understanding and applying God’s mission for the church – John 18:36-37

If you go on a trip, you need to know where you are going.  Once you know where you are going, you need to decide how you are going to get there.  Being mission driven is deciding where the church is going and how it is going to get there.

  • Worship Service Strategy: intentionally moving people towards intimacy with God – John 4:23-24

When we assemble, our aim should be to glorify God.  The church has become caught up in vain repetition of meaningless rituals that have nothing to do with true worship. 

  • Discipleship Strategy: intentionally helping people “walk as Jesus walked” – John 14:30-31

If you are a mature believer, you should be helping someone mature in their faith.  If you are a young believer, you should look to someone to mentor you.  Ideally, no matter how far along we are, we should be able to find someone who can teach us more.

What is a Healthy Church?

 A healthy church does church God’s way and follows his principles

Principles for our church - part 2

*see introduction for more on these principles

  • Equipping Strategy: intentionally mobilizing believers towards service for God – Luke 10:2

As believers discover their spiritual gifts, the church needs to stand behind them and equip them and give them opportunities to use their gifts in the best way possible for the kingdom of God.

  • Outreach Strategy: intentionally moving into the “world of the lost” to bring them into ours – Matthew 9:9-13

As Christians mature, they should naturally want to tell others about their Savior.  This step involves the church presenting opportunities for this to happen and making an environment that non-believers will feel welcome.

  • Leadership Multiplication Strategy: intentionally developing new leaders to support the growing ministry – Luke 6:12-13

As the church grows more leaders will be needed.  Also the current leaders won't be around forever.  This step requires new leaders to be trained to take on the responsibilities of tomorrow before there is a hole to fill and something just gets thrown in.

  • Effective Structures: intentionally organizing to fulfill the mission and vision of the church – Luke 10:1

A church needs to be constantly evaluating its programs and facilities and asking whether it accomplishes what they want them to.  This takes place at the beginning and while a church grows.  Something that worked five years ago may not be right for the situation today.

  • Bible-Centered Ministry: intentionally making God’s Word the basis for everything we do – Mark 7:6-8

Perhaps most importantly, everything needs to be run through the filter of the Bible.  If a program's purpose goes against what the Bible says the church should be doing, it needs to be dropped.  This is a difficult task because it requires evaluating some of the church's oldest traditions and asking why things are done the way they are.  If the focus isn't to glorify God, serious thought needs to be given as to why it should remain.