How Do You Know if a Church is Healthy? Part 2

I wrote on this subject last week, and didn’t have any plans for a Part 2 until I visited a very unique little church this past weekend. Sunday morning I found myself worshiping with 28 other friends in a small community in the Northeast. Now, I realize that a small church in a small town is not in itself unique. But this one is…

As the guest speaker for the morning, I arrived a little more than an hour before service time and entered the small sanctuary where a prayer meeting was taking place–a prayer meeting led by high school students. Now the fact that 18 of the 28 people attending that morning came to pray for an hour before their service is remarkable enough, but a full dozen of those were students, and three or four others were among those that joined us at service time.

It was great to be in a Sunday service dominated by students. But even more impressive was the connection I observed between the adults and these kids. A senior adult couple stepped into the mix with the wisdom and love of grandparents. A young couple hugged and encouraged each of these committed young people. And the pastor and his wife nestled right into the middle of the group like enthusiastic shepherds, cheering the energy of their young sheep.

Now you might think that a small, declining town and a high mileage building offer a less-than-healthy opportunity. You might wonder if a strong church can grow in such a limited place. But anytime young and old are genuinely connected by hunger for God and the purposes of the Church, something healthy is definitely growing.

Few might immediately think that a small, rural church on a cold, snowy morning is really the place to be, but any place where love is breaking down cultural walls, well…that’s a vibrant, healthy church!


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