In our increasingly results-oriented world, it’s easy to apply the same organizational health measurements to church as we do in business. Some typical questions asked of leadership might be:
• Is attendance moving in the right direction?
• How does our budget look?
• Are we adding programs or cutting back?
• Offerings increasing
Not all of these measurements are bad. Attendance can be a good indicator of a healthy church. An increase in giving can signal satisfaction with the church’s vision. An expanding budget could mean solid, respected leadership. But these measurements tend to focus more on the nuts and bolts and not as much on spiritual aspects. May I suggest asking several questions about our spiritual health.
1. Are we impacting our community with the love of Jesus?
Through our presence and the ministry are we making an impact on the lives of those around us? They might not attend our church or come to Community Groups or Bible Studies, but are we demonstrating the love of Christ to them in tangible ways? Is our presence life-changing? If VCF were to close tomorrow, would the neighborhood notice? Would they protest and say we are too important to close? We must continually reexamine the focus of our ministry, so the love of Jesus is obvious to those around us.
2. Is the body of Christ that meets in our Worship Center growing in Him?
Each of us travels a different spiritual road but all of us should be growing in our relationship with Christ. Through ups and downs and steps forward and back, are we providing the spiritual foundation for people to grow?
Can we look at individuals who have worshiped with us for years and notice specific ways in which they have grown in Christ? Maybe it’s through patience in learning to wait on God … maybe it’s a growing interest in discipleship … maybe it’s a desire to share their faith … maybe it’s a willingness to volunteer more time and resources. It can be through thousands of different ways, and we don’t always know exactly how Christ has worked in our lives. But we should have witnessed growth and depth and maturity in faith among our congregation.
3. Are we telling others about Jesus?
Some churches have ministries that cover the globe, while others are more focused on their community. Regardless of where our church has ministries, are people hearing about Jesus through us and our influence? A healthy church will be eager to share its love of Jesus.
These aren’t the only questions we should ask ourselves, but they help form the basis for a healthy congregation. We encourage you to ask these questions and constantly remind the VCF leadership to Pursue Jesus and Practice Love.