We all want health in any institution or relationship. Healthy institutions thrive and help their communities.
This is especially true in the church. Of all the things you could say about your church, being healthy is one of the best.
Recently, Thom Rainer of Lifeway Christian Resources says that there are two practices which characterize healthy churches. He indicates that healthy churches make a practice of emphasizing two areas.
First, they encourage their people to read the Bible daily. Following God’s Word and church health fit together perfectly. In fact, you could make a case that churches without people who read God’s Word regularly and seek to follow it cannot be healthy.
Here’s the way Rainer puts it: “When Christians read their Bibles every day, they are more likely to evangelize, minister to the community, pray, give to the church, and be a unifying force in the congregation.” He emphasizes that healthy churches make encouragement toward daily reading of God’s Word a part of the DNA of the church.
Second, healthy churches emphasize groups. Rainer uses the word “groups” to describe the small group ministry of the church no matter what it is called. These groups–whether called Sunday School, life groups, small groups, home groups, or something else–support in amazing ways the health of the church.
Groups increase assimilation, provide community, and are instruments of accountability. They help close the “back door” of the church by providing places for people to belong and get involved.
Drop out rates are much larger–maybe as much as five times higher–for those who attend worship only as opposed to those who are involved in a group.
Do you want your church to be healthy? Read your Bible today and everyday and find a small group Bible Study to join and attend regularly.
Why will this make your church more healthy? Because it will make you more healthy.
Both of those are worth the cost.