Grace Communion International president, Greg Williams, has set a goal for GCI churches to be the healthiest expression of church we can be.
Equipper asked several pastors and ministry leaders around the world to define healthy church in a sentence or two. The responses were encouraging and perhaps a bit challenging. In order to include more quotes, we edited several down to a main point. See if you see some common themes, which we will summarize at the end of the quotes.
A healthy church is Christ focused, in loving fellowship and intentionally seeking the Spirit’s lead in wisely being Christ’s body in the community, physically and digitally. – Bharat Naker, Australia
A healthy church worships Jesus Christ and insists that he is the reason and goal of everything the congregation does. It is a church that equips people to use their gifts to participate in the life and work of Jesus and is a force for good in their community. – Dishon Mills, US
A healthy church is a body of believers who are walking together and seeking to know the blessed Trinity as we are known by them.” – Bill Winn, US
A church that preaches Jesus Christ, is outward rather than inward focused, moves forward on its knees, is unified in thought and action and whose leaders strive to be sound examples to the congregations. – Peter Mills, UK
A healthy church is one in which the members not only care for one another but have genuine care and concern for others outside the church. – Debby Bailey, US
A healthy church is a church that strives to live out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and the Glorious Calling (Acts 1:8). Wherever Jesus is at the center, and he is the heart of the life of the church, there you have a heathy church. – Charles Young, US
Healthy church is a congregation of Christ followers who are willing and seeking ways to engage in the community around them. – Carrie Osborne, US
When Jesus Christ is truly central in all we believe and do, we will be living in him and he in us. – Bob Regazzoli, Australia
Sharing in Jesus’ love, faith and hope with our neighborhood, and celebrating together the fruit of righteousness, peace and joy that is borne out of a shared life in Father, Son and Spirit. – Gabriel Ojih, US
A place where the members love, help, and edify each other; a church that thinks about the future and trains the new generation of leaders; a church that looks outward and is open to new people, and a church that does good in its neighborhood, bringing comfort and hope. – Marie Angelique Picard, France
Jesus is at the center of all that is said and done and also a church that finds a balance between looking up (Hope), reaching in (Faith) and reaching out (Love). – Tamar Gray, US
A healthy church is one where its membership is actively involved with God in doing His work of “seeking and saving the lost.” – Kenneth Barker, US
Where Jesus Christ is at the center and the leaders and members are thriving in their relationship with and participation in his life and work. – Aron Tolentino, Philippines
A healthy church is a group of believers joined together in relationship to recognize where God is working and are equipped and encouraged to use their gifts to join Jesus in that work. – Anne Stapleton, US
A healthy church encounters our triune God in every aspect of life and reflects the inclusive heart of Jesus in its being, which in turn empowers its doing. – Terry McDonald, US
It is where love amongst the members is evident, allowing differences amongst them to lead to diversity rather than division. It is where healthy theology leads to an understanding of who God is and leadership serves rather than rules. – Danny Zachariah, India
A church whose members are growing spiritually, with ever-deepening relationships with Jesus. Is outwardly focused, sharing the gospel message and being a blessing to the community, family and friends. And where everyone is empowered to use their giftedness in service to each other and their communities. – Jackie Mills, UK
A healthy church for me is a church that is forward thinking, inclusive, and willing to reach into people’s lives, those that are in the congregation and those who are not (yet). A healthy church is a relational church. – Linda Sitterley, US
Realizing the broader scope of where Jesus is already at work and what Jesus is leading us into and deciding to engage our congregation in joining him at work. – Bart Baril, US
A healthy church is being secure in a relationship with Jesus and willing to follow where He takes each one of us. – Kirk Hayden, US
A healthy church asks not Jesus’ blessing on what the church wants to do, but rather seeks to understand what the Lord himself is doing in their midst and in their community, and follows him. – Luciano Cozzi, US
A healthy church to me is a church where the love of Christ is being received and shared, a place where disciples are being formed into the image of Christ and making disciples. – Charles Taylor, US
What common themes do you see? A healthy church…
- Is focused on discipleship – Faith Avenue
- Loves our neighbors (the one-square-mile (kilometer) around your church) in order to make disciples – Love Avenue
- Is focused on helping members and guests focus on Jesus as the center of the center – Hope Avenue
A healthy church is focused on Jesus and is being led by him in the Great Commission of loving our neighbors, sharing the teachings of Jesus, and growing in faith, hope and love.
May God continue to bless us as we follow the GCI vision of being the healthiest expression of church we can be. If you want to know how to help your congregation become a healthier expression of the body of Christ, check out our GCI resources page.