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What is a healthy church?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by evangelist6589, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    Nov 22, 2010
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    For the record I do not think my church is unhealthy but rather the opposite. Its just I am not Arminian, nor IFB. But it would be easier if I was in a Calvinist IFB church. Anyways what is healthy church? I think that Mark Dever has explained it well on what a healthy church is with this book.

    The Nine Marks
    1. Expositional Preaching

    2. Biblical Theology

    3. A Biblical Understanding of the Good News

    4. A Biblical Understanding of Conversion

    5. A Biblical Understanding of Evangelism

    6. A Biblical Understanding of Church Membership

    7. Biblical Church Discipline

    8. A Concern for Promoting Christian Discipleship and Growth

    9. Biblical Church Leadership
    Its not that every healthy church will be a 9 Marks church or Calvinist as there are healthy non-Cal churches such as the Moody Church, & Shadow Mountain Community Church.

    Regarding unhealthy churches these are churches that do not preach the Biblical gospel or the essentials of the faith. For example I received a email reply from a Presbyterian USA Pastor and he said the following.
    Dear John,

    We teach that Jesus came and died for all people. We do not teach that
    other faiths will spend an eternity in hell. We do not believe that it is
    up to us to judge. It is just up to us to love.

    I hope that answers your questions.

    Pastor xxxx

    That would be an example of a unhealthy church. A church that lacks an understanding of the gospel, and Biblical conversion. There are other examples of a unhealthy church so preaching the Biblical gospel would be the first step. So what say you?
  2. HAMel

    HAMel Well-Known Member
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    Nov 15, 2009
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    What is a "Healthy Church"?

    In my opinion, a healthy church is a church that put the Lord Jesus Christ FIRST and lets all the assorted NONSENSE fall by the wayside.

    A healthy church is one absent the funny handshakes; the eye winks; the gentle head nods; the code words; the favoritism; the stuffed shirts; etc.

    A healthy church is a church that tends to ALL of the members needs..., not just the family members. Those who are sick; old and unable to cut their grass; the widow's; a ride for the one who needs to make a doctor's appointment; a hair dresser's appointment for that elderly woman with the walker; the member that needs help with any of the various addictions; etc., and the list is endless.

    With all due respect for those "Nine Marks"..., I see nowhere any reference being made to those members in need as described in the above paragraph.
  3. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Aug 21, 2006
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    Charles Spurgeon, "Work for Jesus":

    "I remember that when Andrew Fuller had a very severe lecture from some Scotch Baptist brethren about the discipline of the church, [the Scotch Baptists were a splinter group, now extinct: "A plurality of elders or pastors in every church, is a distinguishing feature in their order. . . .they consider a church incomplete without a plurality."] he made the reply, "You say that your discipline is so much better than ours. Very well, but discipline is meant to make good soldiers. Now, my soldiers fight better than yours, and I think therefore that you ought not to say much about my discipline." So the real thing is not to be for ever calculating about modes of church government, and methods of management and plans to be adopted and rules to be laid down, which it shall be accounted a serious breach to violate. All well in their place, for order is good in its way. But come, now, let us go to work. Let us have something done."
  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Feb 18, 2006
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    The expositional preaching is a personal preference and cannot be defended by scripture.

    Anyway a healthy church understands that the great commission is far more than simply telling someone the good news.

    A healthy church makes disciples, understands the true purpose of prayer, knows God not just knows about Him.

    Biblical theology is great but a healthy church knows how to take that theology and turn it into life.

    A healthy church lives the word of God not just knows it. Living it does not just mean following rules it means being transformed.

    If we are not serving others and God we cannot know God and we cannot live the faith.
    • Winner Winner x 1
  5. aiki

    aiki Member

    Jan 21, 2002
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    I don't think that the 9 marks you listed cover the full spectrum of indicators by which one should assess a healthy church. As one poster has already noted, loving each other sacrificially in close-knit community is also, I believe, a very vital mark of a healthy church. I have been in a number of churches where biblical knowledge and careful adherence to doctrine are the main focus, but the churches were cold, hard and dead. "Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies." It seems it is very difficult for churches to maintain a good balance between promoting a full understanding of the tenets of the Christian faith and fostering deep, holy and sacrificial love among its members. Churches seem to end up either pushing love at the expense of truth or pushing truth at the expense of love. But having them both in full operation in the church is, I think, one of the most crucial things to look for in a truly healthy church.

    #5 aiki, Mar 19, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  6. Internet Theologian

    Internet Theologian Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2015
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    Do you believe that the sound preaching and teaching would take care of this? That is, by the way, where we get all of our teachings and direction on these issues, from the Word of God. But you brought up a good point, I just feel that teaching and preaching does address this and take it on.
    • Like Like x 1