The authors set out at the forefront to show that there is a difference between church growth versus church health. Viewing themselves as spiritual athletics trainers, they set forth six practices of a healthy church: (1) It retains its commitment to the Scriptures without compromise, (2) it engages in regular, vibrant worship as its motivation for personal and corporate growth, (3) it trains and utilizes shepherd leadership, (4) it utilizes gifts member initiative with ordained elder accountability, (5) it has a continually modified vision and plan unique to that church body that focuses and implements its purpose and mission and (6) it prayerfully seeks the grace of God as it builds commitment to Biblical health. These practices are examined, first under the heading of "Body Basics," then by setting forth specific strategies for shaping Biblical leadership, and finally by gaining and implementing a vision. The book is well-paced as it continually moves from principles to practical application on a regular basis, constantly illustrating both principle and practice with situations from the author's experiences. We are reminded from the outset of the book that God is more concerned with how we live than in what we produce. The point of this book is not so much about church growth as it is about church health. On the other hand, it is a simple fact that a healthy church is generally a growing church. When we come to chapter 9, the author switches gears from the merely theoretical to the completely practical as the reader is directed in the steps of finding and implementing a unique vision for his own particular and unique church. The truth is that every church already has a vision, even if it has not been directly voiced or put on paper. At the same time, each church is urged to be deliberate in understanding and determining what is their own unique vision. "In difficult times as well as in delightful times, God calls us to faithful obedience. He's more concerned about how we live than about what we produce. Yes, in God's time and covenant faithfulness, He does grant wellness. But our part is the process; His is the product" (Page 11).
The Practices of a Healthy Church: Biblical Strategies for
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 19 years ago
No church is perfect, but the church that strives to follow the Biblical strategies set forth in this book will go a long way to being the kind of church that is needed in this age.
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