Note: After having taken a break from writing regular blogs on revitalization I will be offering a new series of articles in 2021, Leading Your Church to Health & Vitality, on how to achieve vitality in your local church. Please keep reading and enjoy. We’re in this together. Grace be with you!
What problem in your church are you wanting to fix? What is some aspect of your congregation’s life that’s not quite right and needs to be addressed? Whether the church you help lead is growing, plateaued, or in decline, we all want to improve various aspects of our church because there is no perfect church. That’s because the church is made up of people, and there are no perfect people. I’m sure you know the old joke that if someone is looking for the perfect church and think they’ve found it, they should not join because then it wouldn’t be perfect anymore! Since no church is perfect, it makes sense that as leaders we always need to be working to make it better.
When addressing this desire for improvement in our Anglican Revitalization Ministries at the American Anglican Council (AAC), we always refer to “church health.” Since the church is the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12), it is a living organism not just an organization. It’s a body not a business. Living bodies are designed to thrive. When they are not thriving, it is a sign they are unhealthy in some way. Therefore, to be better, it’s most beneficial to find out what is unhealthy in the church and focus on fixing that.
The problem is that too often in the day-to-day busyness of church life, church leaders don’t take the time to identify what the real problem is, and they end up working on wrong solutions. If you want a thriving church, it’s important to properly assess where the church is unhealthy so you can spend your precious time, treasure, and talent working on the right solutions.
For years I had bad pain in my lower right back. I obviously knew something was wrong because I could feel the pain. Over the years, I tried all sorts of solutions. I bought new shoes, new office chairs, and new mattresses, spending more than a little bit of money. I tried stretching, pain relief creams, and a host of other solutions. Nothing worked. The pain remained. A couple of years ago, I was experiencing numbness in my right-hand finger. After confirming it wasn’t a heart issue of some sort, someone recommended I go to the chiropractor. One of the first things the chiropractor did was take x-rays of my hip and neck areas to assess the problem. In the consultation session, he asked me if I had ever broken my right leg. I had in a motorcycle accident when I was 15 years old. He could tell because he noticed my right leg was slightly shorter. It turns out I had been walking around out of balance for over 30 years which resulted in my back pain! He prescribed a lift for my right shoe and, after just a matter of weeks, the pain went away. Once the correct problem was assessed, I applied the right solution and things got better. Even though I hadn’t known better earlier, I instantly regretted all the time and money I spent working on the wrong problem!
Again, what problem in your church do you want to fix? Where is there pain in your church body that you want to resolve? Let me suggest getting a proper assessment of the overall health of your local church body by taking a church health assessment. It’s like having the doctor check your vital signs, take an x-ray, and run some diagnostic tests to gain insight into what might be the real problems to work on in your body but for your congregation. Through a church health assessment, you will gain insights into the real problems so you can focus your time, talent, and treasure on the right solutions.
The AAC’s Anglican Revitalization Ministries offers a church health assessment developed for liturgical churches by Asbury Seminary called the Revive Church Health Assessment. You can find and take the assessment for only $100 which is 50% off with our discount code found on our website at www.churchrevive.com.
The best use of this assessment is in the context of our church revitalization program called Revive, where after taking the assessment we provide an on-site consultation and equipping weekend followed by six months of virtual implementation coaching. For more information on Revive, go to www.churchrevive.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you will contact us and get involved in revitalizing your congregation. You can lead a thriving church with vitality, and we can come alongside you with the tools and resources to do it!