Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Church Vitality

The most recent issue of Outreach magazine focuses on church health and vitality. One of my favorite writers, Bill Easum (Sacred Cows Make Gourmet Burgers; Go Big: Leading Your Church to Explosive Growth) wrote an article called "Vital Signs." I try to read anything Bill writes. Whether he's writing a book or a brief article, he never sugar coats stuff. That's why I like him.

He states that church health boils down to six traits: biblically grounded, culturally relevant, exists to transform lives, mobilizes and equips the laity; a community built on trust; structured to grow disciples.

Ouch! The problem, he cites, in most churches is that one or more of these traits is lacking or absent. Or it could be that the church doesn't know how to measure these traits. Easum takes each trait and offers a brief synopsis of how a church can measure it. Ouch again!

I'll mention the first two in this blog, then finish it up in a second one.

1. Biblically grounded: I thought of the six that maybe we did pretty good on this one. But the measuring question Easum poses got me wondering if we do a good job of this or not. He says the way this trait is measured is by observing how decisions are made. Here is the measuring rod: "Do prayer, discernment, and the scriptures guide your leaders in their decision making?"

2. Culturally relevant: CBC tries to be. But then again do we? Easum talks about the importance of exegeting the community and then making sure that all ministries evolve out of that exegesis. Here is the measuring rod for this trait: "Do all of your ministries have their origin in the hopes, dreams and needs of the surrounding community of nonbelievers?"

3-6 next time.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ken this is exactly right. How often we forget that change is a good thing, and we must do what is necessary to reach those who do not know God. Quite honestly, folks need to remember it is not about "I, me, we," it is all about God. God will do great things at CBC--we need to get out of his way!