What is a Healthy Church?

 A healthy church understands what we are about – making disciples

Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
1 John 2:6

1. A disciple is someone who walks as Jesus walked.  1 John 2:6

This isn’t just following a bunch of rules – although if we are following Jesus we will be following the rules

  • There is a changed mind – Romans 12:1-2
  • There is a changed heart – Luke 18:9-14, Ezekiel 36:25-27
  • There is a changed lifestyle – Matthew 7:24-27

What Would Jesus Do? has become cliché.  If we are following Jesus we will not be constantly asking this question because we will already know what Jesus did in similar situations and we can follow.

Do our lives reflect a change?

Would a stranger know that we are a disciple after knowing us for one day?

 2. “Go and make disciples…”

We think of disciples as holy people who went out and turned the world upside-down for Jesus.  A disciple is much simpler than this.  A disciple is a student.  An apostle is someone who is sent out with a mission.  We are to make disciples.

  • To be a disciple, we are to believe who Jesus said He was – John 8:31
  • To be a disciple, we are to obey Christ’s commandments – Matthew 28:19-20
  • To be a disciple we are to love others – John 13:35
    • What are ways that we can love other Christians?
    • How can we love other non-Christians?
  •  To be a disciple we are to help alleviate suffering – Matthew 10:42, 25:34-40
    • We do this by meeting needs
    • Our focus is outward, not inward

What are the needs of those around us?

How does alleviating suffering differ from loving others?

We are told to obey Christ's commands so... - What are Christ’s commandments that we are to obey?

Next lesson covers more of what it means to be a disciple. What does is mean to be a disciple?

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:35

To be a disciple we are to bear fruit – John 15:5-8

  • Fruit is demonstrating quality character traits – Galatians 5:22-23
  • Fruit is worshipping God – Hebrews 13:15
  • Fruit is doing the will of God – Matthew 7:15-21
  • Fruit is living the truth - - Ephesians 5:8-11
  • Fruit is doing good deeds – Colossians 1:10-12
  • Fruit is sharing the gospel – Colossians 1:3-6

To be a disciple we are to prioritize our relationships – Luke 14:26

  • This means putting God first – even ahead of family
  • This does not mean we actually hate our family and forsake them

We don't focus on God to the exclusion of our relationships; rather our relationships should be centered around God.  However, if you are in a relationship with someone who doesn't have the same beliefs as you, God needs to be the most important thing in your life, even above your family.

To be a disciple we are to follow Jesus and carry our cross – Luke 14:27

  • Following Jesus goes back to walking as Jesus walked
  • Carrying our cross means that we can expect hardships because of our beliefs

To be a disciple we are to turn over our possessions – Luke 14:31-33, Acts 4:32-35

  • God does not expect us to just give of our abundance but to give sacrificially
  • This includes not just money, but our time and talents as well

There is a lot if argument over whether a 10% tithe is still a requirement in the church age.  Jesus never mentions it specifically and therefore a lot of people don't think much about giving to the church at all.  However, the example given to us in Acts is sacrificial giving that went well beyond even the 10% of the Old Testament as people sold their property and possessions in support of the budding church.