Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Church Vitality (2)

Bill Easum states that good church health boils down to six traits. I posted the first two in a previous blog (biblically grounded, culturally relevant). Here is the continuation of his thoughts.

3. Exists to transform lives: Easum notes that this is the easiest trait to measure. How many adults are getting baptized, and how many spiritual giants are being discipled and sent into significant arenas of ministry? Also, are leaders disappointed if a week goes by without someone giving his/her life to Christ?

4. Mobilizes and equips the laity: Is 80 percent of the congregation engaged in some type of weekly or monthly ministry? And, is the staff's role primarily to equip others for ministry versus doing ministry? Then Easum asks a couple of probing questions. "Who does most of the ministry at your church--the staff or the laity? When people need their spiritual needs met, do they go to their small group instead of the pastor?"

5. A community built on trust: To measure this trait, observe how quickly, without much fuss, decisions can be made; new ministries can be established; and the expected behavior of the leadership. "Can any one or two people in the congregation derail something that most people want to see happen? Do you trust your leaders when they make a decision, even if it is controversial?" (Admittedly, we have digressed in this trait. And our staff pastors are determined to regain a high level of trust with the congregation.)

6. Structured to grow disciples: Mormons grow so rapidly because they are structured for growth. "Does your church eat, sleep, and dream about making disciples?"

I firmly believe we are in the beginning stages of a new day. We all long for a vitally, healthy church. These six traits provide us with a helpful measuring stick as we move forward.

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