How to Recognize a Healthy Church

What makes a church healthy?

When it comes to our physical health, we can pinpoint “healthy” vs. “unhealthy” fairly easily.

  • Do we have the energy we need to accomplish our work each day?
  • Are we experiencing any significant aches or pains?
  • Are we running a fever or have high blood pressure?

All of those are indicators of our health status.

So, what indicates whether our churches are healthy?

Indicators of a healthy church include:

  • More people are deciding to follow Christ each week, each month
  • The percentage of the congregation involved in a small group and/or serving in some capacity at the church is increasing
  • Church staff members are usually able to work reasonable hours (not lots of overtime)
  • The church is growing (this doesn’t have to be 100s per month but some steady growth is always a good sign)
  • Volunteers know what’s expected of them and they enjoy serving
  • The pastor has sufficient time dedicated to developing messages each week
  • People within the community who don’t attend the church still have a favorable impression of it’s impact on the community
  • When you think of whether people are maturing spiritually in the church, at least a handful of names come to mind of people whose spiritual growth you’ve witnessed
  • Church leadership maintains a budget, the church is debt-free or making steady progress towards becoming debt-free, and it has sufficient cash flow

Indicators of an unhealthy church include:

  • Church attendance is steadily decreasing
  • Staff members are exhausted and overwhelmed
  • The pastor is so busy with other tasks that he regularly puts together the sermon on Saturday night
  • There’s no succession plan for the pastor or other church leaders
  • Fewer people are serving and those who do volunteer aren’t well-trained
  • There’s a high turnover rate on the church staff
  • Leadership (or the congregation) is reluctant to change and/or eliminate things that are no longer effective
  • Debt is increasing, cash flow is tight, and sometimes the church is barely able to make payroll

These lists aren’t all-inclusive, so what would you add to them? Do you disagree with what I have included? Let me know in the comments. Agree or disagree – I’d love to hear from you.


I’m taking some time off in July, so I’m running popular posts from the archives.  I’ll be back with new content soon.

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