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What Is a HEALTHY Church?

I was talking with a young, hurting pastor recently.

He resigned after several years of trying to turn around a dying church into a healthy church. The church brought him in with definite goals. He felt he had a mandate.

The church began to grow. Things were exciting … or so it seemed.

But with every change, there was growing resistance. Eventually, only a few people with power still supported him. Then they refused to back him with changes they had agreed were needed.

He was continually reminded that this was not “his church.” He felt it was best that he leave rather than divide the church. (This church has a long history of short-term pastorates.)

In the course of the conversation, he asked some sobering and honest questions.

He asked, “Is there really such a thing as a healthy church? Are there any healthy church staffs? And what does healthy mean anyway?”

Great questions.

I understand. Sadly, I hear from pastors continually asking the same questions. There are many unhealthy environments in churches.

But, yes! There is such a thing as a healthy church. There are some healthy church staffs.

I don’t know if I know completely what “healthy” means, but I’ve given the issue some thought.

The reality is that the church is the Body of Christ. In the purest form, the church is always “healthy” because it represents Christ.

We are promised that nothing will ever destroy what Christ has established.

But, local churches are made of people. And some of those people, even well-meaning as they may be sometimes, work together to form unhealthy environments.

Some work together … for the common good of honoring Christ … and form healthy environments.

So, with that in mind …

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Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping churches grow vocationally for over 10 years.