Today’s guest post is from Chuck Lawless, Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern University. Dr. Lawless presents a fascinating study on church health and how churches perceive themselves in several areas (including a few of the key church systems we champion here at Church Leader Insights).
More than 15 years ago, Dr. Thom Rainer and I developed a Church Health Survey to assess the condition of local congregations. A 160-question survey that focuses on the six purposes of the church (worship, evangelism, discipleship, ministry, prayer, and fellowship), the questionnaire reveals a church’s perception of itself.
Over the years, hundreds of churches in North America have completed the survey as they work with my church consulting group. Here are some general conclusions these surveyed churches have told us about themselves.
- Even struggling churches view themselves as family. They enjoy being together, even when they differ strongly on matters like worship style. Apparently, the comfort of being with believers they know often trumps their disagreements.
- Many churches admit their unhealthiness. By far, churches that complete our survey perceive themselves as “marginally unhealthy” or “unhealthy.” To be fair, these churches contact us because they have already recognized their need for help (which, many other needy churches do not recognize), but our process is easier because of their own admission.
- Many members do not pray regularly for church staff. The survey is anonymous, so members seemingly feel free to admit this reality. Follow up conversations suggest members pray for staff when they first join the team and after that point, only when they ask for prayer.
- Discipleship and evangelism are the weakest areas in the church. I cannot recall the last survey that showed other areas as the weakest. Again and again, these churches admit they struggle in doing evangelism and discipleship – two non-negotiable components of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20).
Click here to read the full article.
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P.S. – Healthy systems = healthy churches. Discover the eight systems of a healthy church and how you can begin to improve each of these systems in your church – absolutely FREE. Limited space available – reserve your spot today. Click here to register now for FREE!
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