Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Healthy Church?

Back once again to the Purpose-Driven Church movement. They give out awards for having a healthy church, which seem to be assessed entirely on their standard criteria - does the church have an explicit and deliberate emphasis on worship, discipleship, fellowship, evangelism and service? Problem is, plenty of churches can have that and be chronically unhealthy.

Here are some extra questions...

  • Is the preaching normally preaching systematically through the Bible rather than just whatever the preacher wants to say that week?
  • Are Christians there excited about Jesus?
  • Do visitors actually feel welcome?
  • What is the drop-out rate through the youth work, right up until they are fully integrated into the main body of the church? Ideally, it should be negative.
  • How well are different social groups integrated? Do people primarily love and mix with other people like them or do all members of the church genuinely learn from people from different social, economic, age backgrounds?
  • If the church stopped being all about God, how long would people take to notice?
  • Does the worship reflect well on the worship band or on God?
  • Does the preaching reflect well on the preacher or on God?


Anonymous said...

- Does the church attract one particular class of people, more than the demographics of their neighbourhood and general english churchgoing would predict?

- Could the phrases 'bunker mentality' or 'us and them' be fairly applied to the church?

- Are the preacher's political views gain prominence as a main part of the gospel they preach? In other words, do you ever feel the preacher's been reading the Telegraph or the Guardian more than the bible during sermon prep?

- Is the church afraid of something? Is it reacting against the times, rather than being bold in the gospel?

- Is there any emphasis on one particular outworking of the Spirit, more so than context allows? (Tongues is a good example, though by no means unique).

John said...

Does the church use discipline, but in a way that is genuinely aimed at restoring people?