Organizational health trumps everything. The most important thing you can do for your church, the best advantage you can give your church is to do all you an to ensure it is the healthiest it can be.
People do not want to become a part of something that is unhealthy and if they do, they don’t stay for long. The ones that do stick around in unhealthy organizations are often part of the reason it stays unhealthy!
Health is certainly a spectrum and every church falls somewhere between perfectly healthy and abysmally unhealthy. Healthy chruches come in all shapes, sizes and flavors as do unhealthy chruches. To be a healthy church does not mean that you are a perfect church. In fact, any attempt to pretend that you are a perfect church is a sign of unhealth! Parading problems and challenges is a sign of unhealth as is hiding them.
In fact, people really, really want to be a part of a church that is imperfect and knows it. We all need community and the most important aspect of community in todays culture is authenticity.
Our family had the opportunity several months ago to look for a new church home. We wanted something healthy, but a place that was also aware of its own imperfections. So, when we asked questions about challenges and weaknesses and got honest answers, we were relieved.
People need a healthy place to be authentic, to wrestle with their wounds, hangups, struggles and imperfections. We are often forced to endure toxic relationships at work, in family and in other areas of life, the last thing people want to be a part of is a toxic church.
Seek health and embrace imperfection. The people in your church will thank you. People will want to become a part of your community. The kingdom will be better for it. It won’t be easy, but you will never regret it.
Rev. Dr. Marcus J. Carlson, Executive Director