A body is a complex network of regulatory systems
A body lives in and interacts with an environment
A body is unique
A body adapts to maintain life
The essays and questions by Dwight Stinnett and the Staff of the GRR are here for your study and reflection. Use these in prayer to discern where God would have your church put its focus so to become an even more effective witness and servant of Christ.
The size of the body - the church - is not a dependable measurement of its effectiveness in ministry.
Small churches can be highly effective; larger churches can be ineffective.
When a human body is out-of-shape, it does not have the energy and resources to enjoy life nor to share the joy of life with others. God has the Apostle express that lesson in his first letter to the Corinthian Church. He focuses on this nature of the Church in the 12th chapter of that letter.
Healthy churches have a clear understanding of who they are and what they are about. Captivating vision creates a cohesive pattern of all the traits associated with healthy churches. When a captivating vision is present, structures, resources, and activities serve the vision, and members are captured by the power of something bigger than themselves.
God's love defines the mission
and method for all Christian ministry.
Healthy churches share God's passion, longing for people to find
wholeness in Christ. They scan the horizon for those in their neighborhoods and those around the globe who need the Good News, whether it be a word, a touch, or a "cup of cold water."
Questions for Reflection
radiate a sense of God's
empowering presence. As we listen to God, and allow
that Word to influence our decisions and the way we live,
the Spirit becomes evident to us. The dynamic in trying
to understand God and respond faithfully may begin as a
personal matter. But, since the Spirit is presentin the community,
the dynamic must also be open
to community, instruction, correction, and affirmation.
have an organization that is adaptive, focused
on ministry and mission, and consistent with their theology.
Organization promotes wise administration and demands accountability.
It facilitates communication and reconciles differences. The dynamicbalance
of appropriate pastoral
essentia lto organizational effectiveness.
Healthy churches know that Christ's last earthly words to us were "
make disciples!" Healthy churches invite people to become
disciples and begin the journey. They also encourage
those already on the path of discipleship to "press on."
Healthy churches are deliberate about growing disciples
by teaching and modeling ethics, theology, history, Bible, missions, stewardship, compassion, and Christian behavior.
know that they are connected to
other churches by the living Christ. They seek shared
mission and ministry for local concerns through local
alliances with other congregations. They find strength and
opportunity for mission and ministry through denominational affiliation. The strength of the network may ebb and flow, but it remains a ling reminder that Christ's church is always larger than any one congregation.
The first mark of a church was that they "loved one another." Life in Christ is always urging to koinonia. In a healthy church, loving community is fostered and cherished. This will be reflected in personal relationships and small groups, theacceptance of newcomers, and constructive patterns of conflict resolution. Such communities are attractive.
One way to practice being a loving community is to nurture your pastor. View a presentation of how a church can grow its pastor, especially one who may be newer to ministry.
Healthy churches know that the gift of ministry (diakonia) is given to all Christians. The Pastor is one minister among many ministers within a church. Healthy churches help members discover their God-given gifts, and then make space for them to pursue a passionate ministry. There is a sense of teamwork and partnership with one another in the work of God's Kingdom.
brings participants closer to God in the context
of congregational fellowship; it energizes all the
activities of the community; and it carries the
Good News from one person to another, all the way
to the ends of the earth. In healthy churches,
vital worship is theologically sound and
contextually appropriate. Vital worship has many elements and may be expressed in various forms.
Dale Galloway, Ten Characteristics of a Healthy Church
Peter Steinke, Healthy Congregations
Loren Mead, Five Challenges for the Once and Future Church
Dan Spader & Gary Mayes, Growing a Healthy Church
Christian Schwartz, Natural Church Development
Leith Anderson, A Church for the 21st Century
The Evangelistic Association of New England: Becoming a Healthy Church, Stephen Macchia