Recent studies have shown that the American church is in decline, and America will soon follow the UK and become post-Christian (if it’s not already). However, in this time, God has poured out His grace on many churches in America, and there are still people being saved and evangelized. Take a look at these 5 signs of a healthy church. Is your church healthy? Use these as a guide when critiquing churches and pastors:
1). Is the word of God being preached? Biblical teaching is vitally important to the health and growth of a church, and the exegetical study of scripture is one of the most effective ways to read and understand God’s word. Is the Bible presented with source verses or is it taken out of context to illustrate the preacher’s point?
2). Is the congregation genuine? A genuine congregation shows is the heart and core of the church. Not only do people imitate the leaders of their church, but a church’s teaching will reflect in the hearts, minds and actions of the congregation. Is there joy? Are people genuinely loving each other and loving Christ? What does worship look like?
3). Are people in community? Since the early church, people have gathered together not just for a service and preaching, but to do life together. Is the word of God being studied outside of the context of the church building, or are the congregants just visiting?
4). Are people serving and giving? The work of Christ is reflected in people and their desire to give genuinely and sacrificially, not only through tithe, but also through their time. This should be differentiated from pastors who need to ask their congregants to give each week, and pastors who guilt their congregants into giving. True giving is based out of a joyful, sacrificial, heart.
5). Are people being saved? Where the word of God is preached, people will be saved and they will be impacted! Are people being baptized? Is the church growing? There is more to this than numbers, because there are plenty of churches that have experienced exponential growth, because of false doctrine.
These five points should be taken in conjunction, because if even one is missing, there may be a problem with the church. I am so thankful to attend a church where the congregation is holy spirit filled, joyful, and where my Christ-family loves Jesus and each other. I would encourage you to look at your church honestly, and be the solution to the problems that you’re facing.