They exhibit hope, peace, and joy while teaching truth.
Their sermons, Bible classes, and ministries leave the listeners with hope. You never feel beat-up or discouraged when you leave because no matter the Scripture being taught, you’re always reminded that you are a child of the King. You are chosen, holy, and dearly loved. Healthy churches know how to step on toes without breaking the spirits of their people.
They are great at loving people.
They have no problem loving on the lost. In fact, they welcome opportunities to surround themselves with those who love, live, and sin differently even if it’s uncomfortable. They know that growth only takes place when we’re willing to step out of our comfort zone. They are ok with being a hospital for sick instead of the local country club for Christ. Healthy churches embrace those struggling with their faith and give them space to grow. They aren’t afraid of the messiness of grace.
They don’t care what others think.
Healthy churches refuse to let what others think of them dictate their mission. They don’t care if the church down the road doesn’t agree with everything they do because they know they don’t answer to the church down the road. They answer only to Christ. Healthy churches refuse to preach a guilt by association doctrine. They find their strength in God and are only concerned about what he thinks.
They refuse to be perfect.
They don’t pretend to hold the monopoly on all things Scriptural. Healthy churches are still learning so they are graceful to all those seeking Jesus regardless of what the sign in front of a church building says. They respect those who worship differently. They try to understand why and work to build bridges. They know what the Bible says on judging the Master’s servant so they tread carefully and choose to love instead.
They are outwardly focused.
They understand that the entire church is an outreach ministry. They know the church’s main responsibility is to love God and love others so they are always in the community loving on and serving their neighbor. Their good works are spoken of by the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed. They aren’t concerned about getting the credit as long as good is being done in the name of Jesus. They’re good at making Jesus look good.
They aren’t afraid of change.
You seldom hear, “We’ve never done it that way before!” at a healthy church because they’re open to doing whatever they can to serve Christ and bring others to him. Healthy churches never bow to fear.
They don’t allow the tyrants or grumblers to call the shots.
They refuse to be bullied by those who make it known that the church needs their contribution or their family started the congregation. Bullies don’t get to lead the church at the healthy congregations.
Healthy churches can discuss difficult subjects and still remain family.
They know there are hot button issues in every church but healthy churches can talk about them openly without resorting to anger. They encourage each other to read, grow, and learn. They spend time together outside of the church building learning and serving together. They know we can gather knowledge from those we agree and disagree with.
Healthy churches heal instead of wound.
They know how concerned Christ is with about our relationships so they treat all people with sincere grace and love. They know that love means action and they aren’t afraid to work towards healing for all.
There aren’t any perfect churches but there are certainly healthy churches and these are just a few of the signs. We’d love to hear more. Feel free to leave them in the comments.