Enjoy our latest on church health...
If you're considering a man to be your next pastor, what questions should you be asking? What are the things that are non negotiable? One really important question that must be asked is: do non-Christians like him?
Whether you realize it or not, you are developing a culture of care in your church. We need to ensure that the gospel that we read, sing and preach Sunday after Sunday reorients and reshapes God’s people, who are easily conformed by the world’s cultural norms. Only God and his realities offer hope in the difficulties of life.
While America has made strides towards racial reconciliation she has a long way to go. God has called us to be a community of differences that supernaturally lives the abundant life together. Here we will focus on taking next steps towards racial reconciliation in predominantly white congregations.
The goal of our community groups is that in our experience of fellowship, we become more like Christ together. But practically speaking, how does this work? What we need is two-fold: We need a fresh vision of Christ and our life in him (discipleship), and we need the practical habits to develop new behaviors and rhythms of life in the church.
What would life in a diverse church look like? And what would it communicate to the people about “the Christian life”? Remember: We all learn the Christian life from how our local church shapes us.
God has designed the church to be “a fellowship of differents” (to borrow a phrase from Scot McKnight). Not a fellowship of “sames” and “likes.” The church was never meant to be a social club for good people with the same backgrounds and interests.
The church is God’s world-changing experiment; it’s how he demonstrates to the world what love, justice, peace and life should look like. When the Church looks like a public elementary school, a few themes become central to the Christian life: grace and love.
In the fall of 2011, I made a strategic decision to replace the word “counsel” with “care” within our church culture. I didn’t send out a memo or make campaign signs. Rather, I began using the terms “care/caring” everywhere I would have used the words “counsel/counseling” in my conversations with others and in training material developed to help ministry leaders shepherd those under their care at each of our campuses.
I know, I know. For some this title smacks of discovering the obvious, like waking up to finally grasp ‘the earth is round’ or ‘computers are not a fad’. Monumental news back in the day, to be sure, though rather routine for the 21st century. But mom always said I was a slow learner, which meant Spaceship Obvious often circled my mental planet a few extra times before landing.
But there’s more.
In my last post, we talked about the first two check engine lights that will help your elders build a healthier culture, and in turn model a healthy culture for your church. Now we turn to the other two cylinders.
The importance of converting a plurality into a team cannot be overstated. Like it or not, the culture of an eldership determines the health of a church. John MacArthur says, “Whatever the leaders are, the people become.” This is not to diminish the role of the Holy Spirit, biblical preaching, the priority of mission, or many other means of grace that shape the people of God. But without the agency of healthy pluralities, each of these can be quenched or curtailed.
As the elders go, so goes the church.