• Towards a Healthy Church – The Five Levels of a Church

    Over the past few weeks, I have spent time discussing the importance of the church having a vision statement, a mission statement, a calendar, systems, etc. If you are reading this article as your first on this blog site, you may think that I am advocating business principles over the Bible. Well, I am not, but as I have mentioned in several articles in this series, I do believe that all truth is God’s truth and the principles that businesses use work if they are true, not because a business developed it. As I wrote here, Moses, Paul, and, yes, Jesus had their own mission statements long before these types…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – From Strategy to Systems

    By now, you might be tired of reading about vision and mission. Good news, we are moving down one more level, but only because it is the next level that allow us to begin to fulfill the mission, which, in turn, allows us to achieve our vision. The next level: strategy. If mission is the objective of a church (or organization), then a strategy is the plan that is needed to make the mission successful. In other words, the strategy is how a mission is fulfilled. Mission statements are important, and people have developed all types of mission statements which might solve or satisfy most every need or ambition known…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – A Need for Systems

    Perhaps you have noticed that your life has become busier than it used to be. For most people, life is not only busier, but much busier. And this busy-ness impacts the church – greatly. The busy-ness of man impacts even the best intentions of any church. Of course, the church represents the people, and although a church may have a mission statement, most people do not. Thus, people get busier and busier. Worse, not only do they not know why they are busier, they also do not know how to break free from the busy-cycle. So, for many, the church is one of the first items to be removed from…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Developing A Mission for the Local Church

    In last week’s post, I shared that the mission of the Church is wrapped into two primary statements from Jesus. These statements are to love God and love others (The Great Commandment, Mark 12.30-21) and to make disciples (The Great Commission, Matthew 28.19-20). These concepts must be included because it was Jesus who said that He would build His Church and these are two key elements of how that will be done. What is true for the universal church is true for the local church as well; however, each local church can adapt those elements to make it specific to the context of that church. For instance, a church in…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – The Mission of The Church

    Having reviewed the idea of a personal vision and mission statement, and showing that a mission statement has biblical merit, it is now time to look at what the mission of the church could be. The mission of the church must begin with Jesus. Why? Because it was Jesus who said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16.18). The church Jesus is building is not your church or my church; it is His Church. Of course, the church Jesus is building includes churches all over the world, but then not every so-called “church” is being built by Jesus either. What I mean is that many people gather together and may…

  • Towards A Healthy Church – Why Having a Mission Statement Is Biblical

    The purpose of this series is to help us understand some necessary components of having a healthy church.* As I have mentioned thus far, in no way, do I wish to neglect the importance of the Holy Spirit, and each aspect of this series should be biblically-based, in every possible manner. Additionally, many organizations cover these items in various ways, and more thoroughly, but my goal is to add voice to this process and provide another bit of clarity to the needs for some of the more overlooked parts of being healthy as a church. *Because of this purpose, this series is meant for those who are truly followers of…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Living with Purpose

    This series is meant to share some ideas of what makes a church healthy. A great deal of work has been done in this area and many are experts in this field. Certain ministries and organizations are even built with this concept at the forefront of their purpose. My intention is not to compete with those individuals or ministries; rather, I am seeking to add another voice to the conversation, and to share a few practical ideas in the process. With that said, last week I posted on the idea of developing a vision as individuals. This week, I am going to shift to the idea of mission. As I…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Finding Purpose

    In a series where the goal is to define the nature of a healthy church, one stipulation must be made: Healthy is defined by God, not man. It was Jesus who said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16.18) and significantly, Jesus only used the word church three times (the other two are in Matthew 18). Therefore, He meant something in His use of the word. That is, Jesus had purpose in His choice of words*, and thus, the church should have purpose as well. *The word “church” is the Greek word ekklessia, a compound word made of the word “ek” (out of) and the root “kaleo” (called out). The…

  • Towards A Healthy Church – An Introduction

    For 2019, I am very intentionally engaged on helping the church I serve to become healthy (healthier). Our church theme for the year is The Year of the Body, and our worship services, teachings, and even most events are geared toward that end. Much of this will be to (re-)apply what I teach at the seminary and what I am learning in my personal studies. As such, I plan to focus the blog on these items as well this year in order that you and, more importantly, your church might find some tips to become healthy (healthier) as well. First, a disclaimer. My masters and doctoral degrees are both in…

  • The Gift of Talent(s)

    For the final scheduled post this year, I will conclude this brief series on the gifts of our time, treasure, and talents. I have previously posted on time and treasure, so this post will be on our talents. For those who have a biblical background, a mention of talents will likely lead to thoughts of the parable Jesus taught on the talents (see Matthew 25). From this parable, we read what I call, the Great Commendation – “Well done good and faithful servant.” It is a phrase that every believer should long to hear, but let me point out two thoughts related to what I quoted. First, the phrase is…