In our Leverage interview with Rev. Karl Vaters, we had a first article discussion about church dynamics and leadership based on size. I have served in a large church of more than 1,000, a medium-sized church, and I have started two churches. I can tell you there is a difference. In my current setting, I have a foot in both canoes. Pastor Karl’s books and blogs have been helpful in discerning how to do ministry in our setting. I hope you were encouraged by the interview.
I am grateful for the feedback I received that leads to this question I have for us: “What is a healthy church and how would you define it?” Pastor Karl suggested that health can be measured by how well a church is following the great commandment and the great commission. Some have suggested health is being faithful. I would love to gather your thoughts on what you think is a healthy church. I invite you to post your comments or email them to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will compile and share them.
As soon as you determine what health is, you have to be able to quantify it. This usually means numbers. I do not think numbers reflect health, but they point to a greater story of the church’s health. Most churches like to measure ABCs (attendance, building, and cash) as a sign of health. Again, you can look at ABCs as indicators, but they don’t really tell the story or reflect the health of a church. You can also have churches that are growing or shrinking be healthy or unhealthy. Numbers do not do it alone. Our Synod tracks measurements of attendance, membership, baptism, confirmation, staff, and giving in the statistical report, but does that really measure health?
I hope you will share your thoughts and join the conversation. What do you think is a healthy church, and what are the measurements we should use to gauge health?
by: Rev. Jason Scheler, Mission Executive of the LCMS Southern District