5 Habits Of Healthy Churches

4 min read

Choosing a faith community can be a real challenge. In this blog, called Five Habits of Healthy Churches, we help you build a biblical framework for making a great next step.

Whatever church or denomination we belong to or what background we come from, we can likely all agree on this. Being part of a healthy church can be one of the most rewarding things in our spiritual lives.

Churches can be places where we make friends, learn new skills, encounter the Lord together and heal our hurts. Consequently, finding a great church is super important. Here are some factors to look out for when choosing a place to plant yourself.

Five Habits Of Healthy Churches: Jesus is worshipped as Lord

Jesus established the importance of church His salvation plan for humanity. At one point in his relationship with Jesus, Peter, a key disciple, declares that Jesus is the Messiah. Consequently, Jesus then responds to Peter like this:

“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell[g] will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid[h] on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit[i] on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

Matthew 16:18 (NLT)

Consequently, Jesus establishes His church on the basis of His being declared the Messiah. In fact, this truth should be the basis of our church gatherings. When we build community on this eternal truth, He promises that:

“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20

Scripture is taught and obeyed as truth

If we come to church to understand and wrestle with the teachings of Jesus, it makes sense that we should hear the teachings of Jesus regularly. In fact, the early church practiced at least two things regularly.

They sang worship to the Lord. And they read the Torah, which makes up the first part of our New Testament.

Worship and the teaching of scripture are two important traditions that healthy churches understand and value.

Jesus followers get together regularly for fellowship

There’s a fantastic Greek word that helps explain the gathering of God’s people. Its the word Koinos.

It holds three key ideas within it. And that’s where we often get our word “fellowship” from:

  1. It can mean a part of a group or a body of people.
  2. Having or sharing with others certain things in common.
  3. Fellowship can indicate a partnership, which involves people working together.

Healthy churches have lots of Koinos! They understand and communicate the value of a shared community. And they are working together in partnership to see Jesus’s kingdom established on planet Earth.

Spiritual authority is present, credible and active

Returning to the early church in Acts as an example, let’s look at the kind of leaders they had. The Apostle Paul established many of the churches we read about in the New Testament. His life was filled with adversity, sacrifice, and imprisonment. He was beaten and betrayed too.

Yet despite this, God expanded the church even in the midst of trials and persecution. He raised up incredible servant leaders who lived lives of inconvenience for the sake of the people they served.

Consequently, healthy churches understand the importance of present, available, and sacrificial leadership. And, as they model their lives on Christ, they are committed to teaching others to do the same too.

Jesus’ mission of discipleship & making servant leaders is happening

Let’s read a short section of Matthew 28.

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[b] baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28: 18-20

Healthy churches place this command at the heart of everything they do. Consequently, they are actively engaged in making disciples in response to Jesus instructions. In fact, healthy churches talk about it, finance it, and look for opportunities to go into new places of influence to tell others about Jesus.

Five Habits Of Healthy Churches: The presence of the Holy Spirit is active

The early church in the book of Acts started off small. But it grew exponentially, with the help of the Holy Spirit. Every thriving church has an X-factor, which is a component that goes beyond good planning and clever presentation.

Healthy churches have the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit.

They understand that, like the early church in Acts, He is the life giver, the strategy maker, and the power in the form and function of the church. Only He can do the miraculous and “only God” moments that we need to make an impact on the world we live in and the people in our communities we seek to serve.

So here’s a big shout-out to everybody building churches. Its a tough job, full of emotional highs and lows, and it requires plenty of patience and tenacity.

May we seek to build church cultures that are welcoming and full of hope.

May we help create cultures and communities that are both safe and life-giving.

And, may we continue to pray for God’s wisdom as we try to build church communities that are healthy too.

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