What Are the 2 Common Practices of Healthy Churches?
A lot of churches nowadays are too busy, resulting in the loss of transformational discipleship. However, LifeWay Christian Resources CEO Thomas S. Rainer said there are still some churches that have maintained healthy habits and as such have survived the test of time.
"Without diminishing other ministries and activities in churches, I want to share with you the two most common practices in healthy churches. I understand that 'healthy' can have a subjective nature to it. And I understand that correlation is not the same as causation," he wrote on his website. "But, after looking at tens of thousands of churches over the past several years, I would be negligent if I did not note these two common practices in the healthiest of the churches."
First, Rainer noted that healthy churches strongly encourage its members to read the Bible daily. He said when Christians read their Bible on a daily basis, they are more likely to evangelise, minister to the community, give to the church, and be a unifying force for the congregation.
"The healthy churches do not simply say members should read their Bibles, they are highly intentional and strategic about helping the members toward that end," he said. "It is not a one-and-done emphasis. It is a part of the DNA of the church, and the emphasis and encouragement is redundant and persistent."
Secondly, Rainer said healthy churches have specialised groups. These could either be community groups, Sunday school, life groups, small groups, home groups, and many others. The church drop-out rate is actually higher among those who are not involved in any group, because those who are actively involved in these small church groups enjoy incredible dynamics.
"At the risk of being redundant, let me be very clear. It is not the mere existence of groups or emphasis on Bible daily reading that are the differentiating factors in healthy churches. Rather, it is the reality that church leaders are strategic about these two vital areas and determined to move all members to these two important habits," said Rainer.