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We all desire growing, healthy churches. But we know that such churches don’t automatically become that way. Healthy ministries result from the strategic efforts of godly church leaders to move their churches forward. But where do we begin? With honest evaluation . . .

Is prayer a priority for both the leaders and the congregation? A healthy church realizes that its ministries go forward through prayer.

Do we have a clearly understood mission and vision? A healthy church knows why it exists and where it is going. Its people “own” its Biblical mission/vision, which the leadership constantly affirms.

Is the Bible central in all our ministries? A healthy church is Bible centered, with God’s Word at the heart of its corporate worship and its curriculum.

Do we anticipate that guests will visit, and are we prepared to greet, share Christ with, and assimilate them into the life of the church? A healthy church is guest friendly and has developed specific strategies to effectively welcome and follow up on visitors.

Is our corporate worship marked by relevance as well as reverence? A healthy church is marked by music and sermons that glorify Christ and communicate effectively His Word in today’s cultural context. Its emphasis is more on content than style, but it is not afraid to be innovative without compromising truth.

Do we have a specific plan to reach the lost both locally and globally? A healthy church acts strategically in its worldwide missions programs.

Do our leaders understand their Biblical roles, and do they work together amicably in serving the congregation? A healthy church is led by a humble and teachable pastoral staff, as well as by deacons who support them and serve with compassion.

Is our testimony as a church a positive one? A healthy church does not overlook its local community, but seeks to share God’s love in practical ways and has a reputation for caring and compassion that opens doors for the gospel.

Do we have a growing sense of community, marked by real fellowship and genuine love? A healthy church is a family! People enjoy being together, and a sense of oneness and support for each other enhances all of the church’s ministries.

Are people truly being discipled? The Great Commission is clear: it’s about discipling. A healthy church is intentional about bringing people toward maturity in Christ.

Do we have a shared ministry philosophy? A healthy church makes a concerted effort to enlist, train, and “unleash” the entire membership in using their talents and gifts in serving the body and the community.

Are we willing to make needed changes in our ministry? A healthy church does not merely change things for the sake of change, but is willing to update ministries when appropriate without compromising its doctrine. Leaders in such churches work through a careful process of needed change that results in greater unity and effective ministry.

Do we practice Biblical church discipline? A healthy church takes sin seriously and seeks to restore believers to fellowship with God and His church.

Do we network with other churches? A healthy church is not isolated but sees value in the big picture of the larger Body of Christ for sharing resources, enjoying fellowship, and sharpening ministry.

Jim Vogel is associate national representative for the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.

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