I have a long grudge with some notions associated with a ‘healthy church.’
Sometimes people think a healthy church:
- Has 100% of its weekend attendance participating in small groups
- Is saturated with people carrying their bibles to church
- Is dominated by the biblically literate
And so on…
What if we surveyed Keystone, and it was determined that 95-100% of our attendance was:
- Reading their bibles regularly
- Inviting people to church
- Serving on the weekend?
I would consider that an UNHEALTHY CHURCH.
Consider the avocado… You want SOFT EDGES as well as a STRONG CENTER. If all you have is a STRONG CENTER, then that’s a DYSFUNCTIONAL AVOCADO!!!
Check this out:
Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest. (Proverbs 14:4 NLT)
If the stable is IMMACULATE, then you aren’t HARVESTING.
It’s important that we remember that God desires that a good portion of our church be the ‘not yet or the recently converted.’
Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.” (John 4:34-38 NLT)
Churches that have God’s tender heart for the lost can’t help but bring people to Jesus. They can’t help but bring people to church.
That complicates things. Perhaps as much as 1/3 of the weekend attendance won’t bring the bible they don’t have. We recently had someone bring their huge family King James bible (coffee table size) because it was the only one they had.
The lost aren’t in community groups… yet.
The lost aren’t memorizing scriptures… yet.
The lost don’t have a vibrant prayer life… yet!
Things get messy when you are harvesting the crop God has already planted!