Just what is a healthy church? They are, by nature, complex organisations. In some ways, they share similarities with other organisations. But in others, they are very different. Churches can err when they either focus too much on the similarities and lose their distinctiveness or if they prioritize the unique aspects whilst ignoring the strength that comes from the commonalities.
Three Aspects of a Healthy Church
There are fifteen keys to church health, grouped together into three aspects, that all churches, regardless of context, theology or practice, need to be strong in to ensure overall health. These three aspects are:
These three aspects together give us the overall Church Health, which in effect answers the question ‘how healthy are we as a church?’
Organisational Health is a measure of the church’s organisational focus on a clear apostolic purpose. In effect, it answers the question ‘how geared towards a successful mission are we?’ It can be measured by assessing five elements:
Weak organisational health indicates one or more of five issues:
- An unclear mission
- Vision that is not consistently mission-centric
- Culture at odds with the vision
- Structure that does not serve the vision
- Strategy that will not advance the mission of the organisation
You can read more about Organisational Health here.
Spiritual Health is the measure of the church’s internal and external ministry strength, using the fivefold ministry expressions given to the church by Jesus that are listed in Ephesians 4. In effect, it answers the question ‘how successfully are we manifesting the heart of Jesus?’.
Weak spiritual health indicates that in one or more of the five expressions, the church isn’t demonstrating the fullness of the ministry of Christ here on Earth.
You can read more about Spiritual Health here.
Leadership Health is the measure of the church’s leadership efficiency, in how it has developed five key factors that could be growth engines for the church – or potential caps to its development. In effect, it answers the question ‘how prepared are we to steward success?’
Weak leadership health indicates that in one or more of the five factors, the church could have issues in place that will ultimately impact its potential for growth. These may be being felt now or could impact later in the life cycle of the church.
You can read more about Leadership Health here.
Something as complex, central and beautiful as the church requires health across every aspect. Many churches are unbalanced, having prioritised health in some areas whilst neglecting others. Unfortunately, much like the human body, sickness left untreated in one part begins to affect all others. We owe it to the church, and the world, to be the best we can be because we showcase Jesus. How are we presenting him to planet Earth?
To find out today how healthy your church is, take the free Church Health Assessment.
I’ve written a book looking at the Keys to Church Health. You can download a FREE chapter by clicking here.