I’m often asked about the characteristics of a Healthy Church. My response lists several points, Biblical focus, evangelism, outreach, Pastor Appreciation, reaching our communities, team building, visitor services, to name a few. However, the most significant difference between a healthy and a challenged church is prayer. The clear distinguishing factor between healthy and challenged churches is the healthy church has and lives a clear, concise and Biblically based vision. The key characteristic of a healthy church is always prayer.
Prayer is key and critical. Personal prayer, family prayer, Board and Congregational prayer. Not prayer read from a book and not memorized. Healthy churches have leaders who actively pray alone, in public and in church. The church atmosphere is looking to God. Leaders pray consistently for and with their people. People are willing to pray with leaders. Prayer that we really expect experience, anticipate and plan for God to respond.
“My house will be called a house of prayer”. (Matthew 21:13 NIV)
Healthy Sunday services have an atmosphere of prayerful expectation and connection with God. Before each service, leaders pray with ministry staff. They pray for the service, the ministry staff, volunteers and the individual health and healing of their church and community. At the closing of Sunday services the leaders are available to pray for and with their people.
Services include prayer for people in need and testimonies of answered prayer and celebration with your people. Guests feel welcome, encouraged and comfortable to join, listen and understand your prayer focus. The Pastor, leaders and those in attendance are committed to worship God and demonstrate his love and forgiveness to their community.
The community knows where the church is and it has a positive influence of prayer and God’s service.
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16 NIV)
Leadership is … praying for God’s leading on a continual basis
Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy