The Church of Jesus Christ: How can we be a Healthy Church

The Church of Jesus Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 12 views

The Qualities and dangers for a healthy church.

Notes
Transcript

Would You Rather?

Good morning we are entering our third week talking about the Church and helping us to gain a better understanding of the Church and what it was intended to be and how we can possibly do church better and why the church is still something that is absolutely essential to the World around us.
I thought this morning we would start with a little be of a fun game. I have some simple would you rather questions that I want you to think about. Now many of these are fun and some are a little more thought provoking. Let’s Get started
Have a Cook or a Maid?
Have More time or Money?
Lose your Keys or Phone?
Lose your Hearing or Vision?
A Big Church or a Healthy Church?
Now I can hear your thoughts churning on that last one. I know it seems obvious but I can’t imagine that there are very many people who would pick a big church over a Healthy church. I mean come on do you want to attend a church that is full of dysfunction and strife. Yet the reality is that this questions answer is something that is easier said than done for many people. We know this is true because we all probably can share a story of hurt and pain either personally or someone we know and their experience with the church.

Qualities of a Healthy Church…Part 1

I feel like i should be clear we are shooting for a trilogy of points this morning. This first part we are going to set the stage and the story.
Like i have already shared it is easy for us to sit here and say that we want a healthy church but many of us don’t know what a healthy church looks like. Let me tell you there are some challenging things out there in figuring out what a healthy church is. If you run a search on any number of sites about Christianity you find article after article and books upon books about a healthy church.
One article i found realized it was so complicated and there were so many different views that they acknowledged it and just shared how the different leaders they asked answered. If you look there are so many things that people think make up a healthy church
Small groups
Honest Pastor
Focus on a Cause
Healthy community ( They cheated)
The list goes on and on.
We could keep looking at so many answers but this morning i want to look at one of the more basic ones and in all honesty its a good one if you can get it right.
The Purpose Driven Church: Rick Warren
Worship
Discipleship
Fellowship
Ministry
Evangelism
Rick Warrens approach is incredibly simple and powerful. Its about keeping a balance approach and focus on these 5 areas in the church to help try to maintain a healthy church. Is this perfect? No. Is it a great starting point? yes.
There is a problem though when we start looking at church and its health. We have to recognize that there may be some unhealthy things going on in the life of the church as well.

The Secret of an Unhealthy Church

We don’t like to talk about this part of being a church. This is the stuff that we want to sweep under the rug. We try to hide it and in all honesty its the thing that so often destroys churches.
Let’s take The Purpose Driven church and see what happens when one areas becomes the main focus
Worship—It become a concert or a show
Discipleship—We are only looking at ourselves and not at the world around us.
Fellowship—The Club
Ministry—Works not Faith
Evangelism—Milk no solid food
Each of these things can creat challenges problems for a church in different ways when we allow them to be the only focus. It is a challenge but we must remember that they need to be balanced.
There is a second problem that can come from a list like this. It is the motivation behind keeping them in balance. If the Motivation is off the list might look like this.
Worship—To make the church Bigger
Discipleship—To make the church Bigger
Fellowship—To make the church Bigger
Ministry—To make the church Bigger
Evangelism—To make the church Bigger.
There is a find balance between church growth for the sake of numbers and church growth that is born out a desire to follow God and to honor him in what we do. If we are honest church growth happens because God is moving and working. We can look back to the book of Acts and see amazing stories of thousands being added to the numbers of believers in a days time. We need to remember that these things are to be kept in balance because...
Worship—Keeps us focused on Jesus
Discipleship—Helps us become more like Jesus
Fellowship—Teaches us to love one another
Ministry—Meet the needs of people
Evangelism—Bring people to Jesus

Qualities of A Healthy Church Part 2...

All right enough talking. Let’s let the scriptures do the speaking now. We know that the Word of God is essential and if we are honest all these ideas all center and come from there.
Hebrews 10:19–25 NIV
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Great Scripture and it leads us to another list this morning i want to end on and help us wrap this morning up. They may look similar to some of the earlier parts but their connection to the Scriptures are so important.
5 Habits of Healthy church
The Priority is drawing near to God (v.22)
They Cling firmly to their Hope (v. 23)
They Keep finding ways to Motivate each other (v.24)
They will never give up meeting together (v.25)
They specialize in encouraging one another (v. 25)
Let’s look at each of these in turn.
The Priority is drawing near to God
Hebrews 10:22 NIV
22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
This is absolutely essential. We must keep God at the focus of everything we do. This is always a challenge because we can’t slip into the danger of thinking that Church is about us. This gathering this place is about worship of God. It is important to note this is also both a personal and corporate act.
2. Cling firmly to their Hope
Hebrews 10:23 NIV
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
I have one word for you that should come from this. Consistency.
If we can master consistency in life you can accomplish so much. Think about it. the best things in life happen and go smoothly when we are consistent. From Child rearing to physical and mental health. When we are consistent in our actions we accomplish far more. The same is true with our faith.
3. They keep finding ways to motivate each other
Hebrews 10:24 NIV
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
What i found interesting about this one it isn’t just the pastors job. We have a responsibility to help each other to encourage each other to push each other to do good things. It shouldn’t ever be the pastor begging for help to accomplish things in the church. This is something that should be done because we have a responsibility to lift each other up and to spur on good things.
4. & 5. Never give up meeting and Encouraging one another
Hebrews 10:25 NIV
25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
We need this more than ever. Whether virtual or in person. From a distance or together we must encourage one another to never stop meeting. It is only together that we are able to work together. The day is coming that Jesus will Return. I don’t confess to know when or if i am really honest I don’t care. Let me clarify that. I long for the return of Jesus but when i say i don’t care i mean i don’t care what day it is as long as it comes. While i wait i have a lot of work to be done. I have a responsibility to live a life that is honoring to God and building his church.

Church and Perfect Health?

The reality is that the church is in a difficult spot. We are faced with unique challenges and we are not always what we need to be. Perhaps that is the first step. The first step in repairing and correcting a problem is admitting there is one. The church as a whole is and can be unhealthy. does this mean we give up and let it die? Absolutely not. The church can he healed and can gain new life if we return to a focus on Jesus. I return to that list i showed you earlier.
Worship—Keeps us focused on Jesus
Discipleship—Helps us become more like Jesus
Fellowship—Teaches us to love one another
Ministry—Meet the needs of people
Evangelism—Bring people to Jesus
Notice the focus in this list?
Where is it?
It isn’t on us. Its on Jesus. The healthy church does that first and foremost. It keeps it focus on Him. It keeps its eyes upwards, then it doesn’t stop trying to be more like Him. Its all rather simple if we are willing to push aside so much of our pride and preconceived notions on what Church is. That is the challenge though. We must return to our focus being only on Him and not on what we want.
Let us pray.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more