Monthly Archives: November 2013

~What Makes A Healthy Church?~

river church

This is a metaphor that paints a clear picture of two very distinct church models.

 The River model, and the Lake model.

First off, what is church? How do we define it? How we think about church and what makes a successful church will determine how effective we are at pastoring and leading God’s people. Do you have “Lake” vision for the church or “River” vision?

A River and a Lake are made of the same stuff, water, but Rivers and Lakes work very differently. Lakes are limited to either growing or shrinking while Rivers change and move. They have momentum and power and they transport people and goods, taking them further along than where they entered the River. Also, a river can change course, which is an option available only to moving things.

Lake model churches are static and they lack the vital process of discipleship, of developing and maturing people to the point that God sends them out to go make more disciples. They lack direction on how members should progress in faith. The measure of success is a larger congregation, not a fruitful one, and if a pastor looses a mature member of the body that is answering God’s call they see it as a loss, not a victory.

The Lake model forces you to invest a lot of attention, time and finances on material things and programs that the people can attend. Success is measured in attendance and growing a congregation not the healthy growth of the people.

The thing that I appreciate most about my pastors is that they are committed to investing in people. They get excited about seeing people fulfill their purpose, grow in their gifts, function effectively in the body of Christ and answer the call to ministry. They measure success in reproducing people of like faith. They understand the “River” process.

“How many people showed up?” …is Lake thinking.

“What happened to the ones that did show up?” …is River thinking.

Ezekiel 47:9 ~ And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.

If pastors have a heart to invest in, and develop people, knowing they will leave, they will have an urgency to help them through the process. By getting everyone in their church ready for a possible departure they will ensure the health and vitality of those whom God decides to keep in their church. If they remember that their responsibility is to produce fruit, they will rejoice when God decides to ship the fruit.

The challenges that we face today in building a strong body of equipped believers is greater than ever. The commitment to invest in, and disciple people must be foremost in our thinking. How we measure success in our church will help determine how successful the church will be.

Matthew 28:19 ~ Go therefore  and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Are We Really The New Testament Church?

Are We
REALLY The New Testament Church?

If we look at the Model of the New Testament Church in the book of Acts and the epistles, we see a big discrepancy in what we see in scripture and what we are experiencing today. Why is that? Have you ever wondered? Are you satisfied with this huge discrepancy?

I for one am NOT satisfied. I can see the model. I can see the possibilities and I know that the Lord Jesus Christ had a different idea of how HIS BODY should function. That may be the key word, “function.” The body of Christ for the most part is in dysfunction. Most Christians that would read this would agree, yet at the same time they would deny that this applies to them, and therein lies the problem.

You see, we live in an age where virtually anything you need to know is just a few mouse clicks away. So we fill our heads up with knowledge until we are able to talk intelligently on any given subject in the bible and we equate that with us gaining revelation, experiencing spiritual growth, and developing in maturity. IT IS A LIE!

Revelation only comes by the anointing. Spiritual growth comes by you functioning in the anointing for a period of time. Maturity only comes by being a doer of the word of God and continued pursuit of Gods purpose and His will for your life.

There are two types of people to consider. The first are Christians that can talk, expound and teach on any given subject in the bible. They can teach you about the gifts of the Spirit, how to be led by the Spirit, how to pray and how faith works and why it isn’t working for you. The problem is: they have no experience in the things that they “know” so in reality all they have is a theory on Christianity. These are the people who think they know what it is to be a
mature Christian, they are SURE they know and will even lay down their life for it.

This is the difference between mental apprehension of things IN the Word and a REVELATION OF THE WORD, Jesus Christ. Until you experience some of the wonderful, amazing things that we read about in the early church you are seriously lacking in spiritual development and understanding. I am talking about laying hands on the sick and seeing them recover, seeing miracles, seeing people delivered from demons, and yes, raising people from the dead. Supernatural signs and wonders, the demonstration of the Spirit that confirms God’s word, and lets not forget good old fashion repentance. According to Hebrews 6 these are foundational doctrines.

Hebrews 6:1-3 ~ 1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3And this will we do, if God permit.

If  these are foundational doctrine, why don’t we see more of it in the church? Is it because we have built the church on little or no foundation? We should be modeling what we see in the New Testament … ALL OF IT!

The thing is, we only know what WE know. The goal is to know what HE knows and until we “function” as HIS body, operating in the gifts of the Spirit, healing the sick, working miracles, raising the dead etc. We just don’t know much. We surely don’t know HIM as He wants to be known. It will take some faith in Him to really know Him. We are HIS body, we should be doing the same things He did as He walked this earth AS A MAN! Which brings me to the second type of person.

The second type of person you can read about in the Gospels. His Name is Jesus Christ and THAT, my friends, IS OUR MODEL. All we have to do … is believe on HIM.

John 14:12 ~  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these
shall he do; because I go unto my Father.