Let’s Talk Church

I sometimes wonder if men like Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Peter, or Paul, ever thought that they would change the face of the church. I’m sure none of them sat down and decided that he was going to single-handedly change how people thought about God or how they lived as Christians. But nonetheless, these men, along with countless others, helped to redefine how we view our faith, the church, even the Trinity; God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

I like to think about the “church” and ask questions that hopefully cause us to reconsider what we do as Christians in our churches. Questions that help us evaluate, consider, think, and reimagine what should should/could be. A number of years a comment was posted to a blog entry that boasted about the health of our church. The comment was, “Got a question for you – a new blog topic if you’re up for it . . . What are the ingredients of a great church?” While the comment was a surprise, the question was not a new one. It’s a question that I and a small group of guys wrestled with a number of years ago when we were frustrated by the idea of doing church. We wanted more. We wanted something that was real and significant; something that caused us to live out our faith.

Since then, I have taken a the position of youth pastor in what I would qualify as a healthy church. We’re not perfect, but it’s a church that is alive, growing, and God’s hand is evident. But I’ve thought a lot, read a lot, and prayed a lot about what makes a church great. I wrote a series of articles on the topic of not What Makes a Church Great, but on What Makes a Church Healthy. The articles were never published, until now.

I want to start a dialog, of sorts, about what makes a church, The Church. Naturally, I will post my thoughts about what I believe to be essential, Biblical and non-negotiable. I will bring to the discussion resources that I have read; books written by men who have gone down this road before and whom I find myself in agreement with. And I will share the models that I have found to be successful at not only producing numbers, but developing real spiritual worship, discipleship, evangelism, and fellowship.

But as I said, this is a dialog, so along with my thoughts, I want to hear your thoughts. What do you think are the ingredients to a healthy church? What experience do you hold? What lessons have you learned as you’ve grown? What do you think is most important when it come to the relationship between God and His church?

I’m not looking for a revival or a new post-post-postmodern movement. I want to know what makes a church The Church? I want to encourage you to respond to what I write by sharing your thoughts, ideas and comments in the comment box below.

For now, let me to encourage you to pray and ask God to inspire you to think BIG God-size ideas. The first post will go live tomorrow, with one following every day for the next couple of weeks.

– jay

One thought on “Let’s Talk Church

  1. What are the ingredients to a healthy church?
    1. Scriptural Centered Teaching: The pastor/teacher/preacher shows how the Scriptures are relevant to the deepest yearnings of our heart and soul and shows what Christ has done and how it ought to impact our life.
    2. Agreement on Key Doctrines: Majoring on the majors and minoring on the minors. There are some things that are okay to disagere on theologically. But a healthy church will agree on what is most important and be okay disagreeing on what is not.
    3. Community: We worship a Trinitarian God who made us in His image, to be in community with Him and one another. This means living life together, not just worshipping one day a week together. Without it, no church is healthy. Ironic, how a body of believers (the Church) could be in community but still have no community.
    4. Mission: We are children of God, servants of the King. Our mission should be His mission. What is His mission? The answer will point to more characteristics of a healthy church.

    What experience do you hold?
    Once pagan, now redeemed child of God (9 year anniversary coming up). Ministry experience with youth, college, young adults, church planting, and missional communities.

    What lessons have you learned as you’ve grown?
    Love God. Love your wife. Love your children. Love the Church. Love your neighbors. Love your enemies. In that order. Any lesson I’ve learned has come out of trying to be faithful to understanding the balance of that whole ideology.

    What do you think is most important when it comes to the relationship between God and his Church?
    That the Church finds its identity in God and what He has done, not its identity in what it does on earth. WHAT the Church does flows out of WHO the Church is. Anything else is counter-gospel.


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