When I was starting out as a pastor many years ago, I so appreciated the biblical and balanced structure that I learned from the Purpose-Driven Church model. At first I wasn't sure, but the more I studied the Bible to see what God says about the church, the more I was convinced that the 5 Core Values were absolutely right on track.
I studied the Great Commandment passage, The Great Commission passage and what it looked like to "be the church" in Acts 2:42-47 and Ephesians 4. I remember pouring over the C&MA doctrinal position of the church and doing a lot of research and then praying for clarity that I might lead well.
As I did this, I saw very clearly how these biblical and balanced "Core Values" needed to be lived out. I hope you enjoy reading this new article by Rick Warren and receive fresh encouragement to live out God's values for His church.
Posted by ChurchLeaders.com
Written by Rick Warren
The New Testament says a lot about the health of the church. Consider just a few verses:
“As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing…” (Ephesians 4:16b, NLT)
“The focus of my letter wasn’t on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church.” (2 Corinthians 2:9, Msg)
“You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other…” (James 3:18, Msg)
Church health is the key to church growth. All living things grow if they’re healthy. You don’t have to make them grow – it’s just natural for living organisms. As a parent, I didn’t have to force my three children to grow. They naturally grew up. As long as I removed the hindrances, such as poor nutrition or an unsafe environment, their growth was automatic.
If my children had not grown up, something would have been terribly wrong. I would have done whatever it took to discover the disease and correct it. I wouldn’t have remained passive, spouting clichés about faithfulness, or wanting “quality not quantity” in my children.
The same principle is true for the church. Since the church is a living organism, it’s natural for it to grow if it’s healthy. The church is a Body, not a business – an organism, not an organization. It’s alive. If a church is not growing, it is dying.
What then is the secret of church health?
In a word, it’s balance!