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.