The Twelve Characteristics of the Healthy Church
A. First is the clear uncompromising teaching of Godís Word
A healthy church will never sacrifice the integrity of the Bible, or neuter its message.
B. Second is an impacting worship time in the use of music.
Those involved in providing the music do so worshipfully as unto the Lord and not just to please an audience.
C. Third is passion for the Lord
We must have hearts that cry out for closeness and at the same time "fear" our Lord and Savior.
D. Fourth is heartfelt Prayer
The bottom line is if you have a church that does not pray or only gives lip service to it, you will not grow as a church. And true growth is not numbers; it is commitment and obedience to His service.
E. Fifth is Making Disciples
The effective large church is a convention of smaller churches where each of the members are being cared for by people who are being discipled, who are being taught, who are being encouraged, and being led.
F. Sixth is love and care that is penetrating - serve one another
When people desire to join a church it is not because of the teaching, or the worship, or the programs, it is because of the care they received.
G. Seventh is leadership development
What is important to know is that being a leader is the ability to lead. Leaders must be able to reciprocate and replicate themselves. Thus, people in the church need to be trained and discipled to be leaders.
H. Eight is outreach and missions
Is this the passion and the message you bring? It is supposed to be. Evangelism is the willingness and the action of taking our love of God, and Godís love for us to others, wherever they are. We are to proclaim Christ to the world around us.
I. Ninth is powered vision
Faith gives us the vision to see the path God has for us long before we get there or move others in that direction. Vision is also the preparation that we do as leaders in our walk with God, so we can lead others where they have not been but we have.
J. Tenth is effective stewardship
Stewardship is often associated with money and giving. This is partly true; however, true stewardship is how we care for all of the resources that the Lord bestows to us. When the church is wet with His purpose, people will be effective stewards, and as a fruit, people will give willingly.
K. Eleventh is appropriate programming
This is the development of programs to house the characteristics and keep reproducing them. This is done in age appropriate programs and opportunities for people to participate in fellowship and discipleship.
L. Twelfth is replication
This is the willingness to give birth to other churches and spread what Christ has given you to other neighborhoods, cities and countries.
by Dave Smith, D.Min.