What does the church need most to be effective and healthy? Even after studying theology formally, I feel I have limited knowledge and find this question difficult to answer. Nevertheless, I will do my best to answer with my current knowledge and experiences interwoven, which led me to five conclusions. 

1.     Focus on Jesus: As a worship minister for over a decade, one of the first things that came to my mind when asked this question was a hymn. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face.” If we are a church that is not focused on Jesus and aren’t keeping the main thing the main thing, then we have no business in being effective or healthy. Many times, we can look to programs, people, and policy to help dictate an initiative as a means to be effective or addressing church health. If Jesus isn’t the center (there’s another worship song), it won’t work. 

2.     Holy Spirit Led: In addition to keeping our eyes on Jesus, we must be led by the Holy Spirit. To be led by the Holy Spirit is to abandon any and all presuppositions and predispositions a Christian has in regards to being effective and healthy. Being led by the Spirit requires discernment, humility, grace, and most importantly, surrender. 

3.     Prayer: This one should seem like a no brainer, and it should be, yet that doesn’t excuse our human desire to turn to prayer as a last resort and not a first response. A Church that is deep in prayer using it as a first response instead of a last resort is going to be effective and healthy because they are prioritizing prayer when demands and difficulty come upon the church. God will be there waiting always. 

4.     Leadership: One of the keys to effectiveness and health is strong leadership prioritizing these three values faithfully. Leaders who are focused on Jesus, led by the Holy Spirit, and prioritize prayer are going to be in a position to help propel the church to be effective and healthy.

5.     Mission and Vision: Lastly, and not least important, is having a mission and vision. Proverbs 29:18 states, “Without vision, people perish.” How is the church, its people, and those we are trying to reach going to be effective and healthy without mission and vision? Everything that the church does and will do needs to be filtered through their mission and vision. Healthy and effective churches always ask the question of “how does this help us achieve our mission and vision?” If an idea does help, then it should be a greenlight. But if it doesn’t help achieve the mission, it is okay to say “no.”

Peter Belschwinder, Intern

Categories: Leadership


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