Church Health Isn’t As Attractive As You Might Think

It’s been nice to read all of your comments about church health posted on this blog, in my email, and on Facebook. One of the comments stood out to me because it quoted something I wrote awhile back in this very blog (This is a clear revelation of my immature ego, but thanks anyway Abby!) and because it’s an all too accurate commentary of typical church life. Here’s what she observed on Facebook:

“Healthy is scary! The instant you commit to being a healthy church you’re going to scare most people away from your church.” (From your piece entitled ‘Healthy is scary’) We are a society who goes “Church shopping” for the flavor we like. When we decide we don’t like it anymore we cast it aside and find another flavor. Many churches have fallen into the trap of entertaining their congregation. It’s sad. It’s like they’re saying God isn’t enough so were going to serve pancakes, and have awesome hairstyles and a rock band so you’ll want to stay. They create a visceral appeal in order to draw people into a cool place to hang out and hope they find Jesus. Then they’re surprised when they don’t stay… or they do stay but don’t mature.

In the end a healthy church is going to scare off more people than attract people because genuine health is actually quite scary in a world that’s used to un-health and dysfunction. That is not to say a healthy church cannot be a large church, or that being a large church automatically means the church isn’t healthy. I’m simply saying that health does not automatically equal great buzz, great size or great renown as one would like to think. I’m also saying that if a healthy church is quite large there will be an even greater number of factors working against the sustainability of its health. Comments?

About Andy Lewis

Andy is an author, pastor, and musician who lives in Santa Cruz California. Currently he serves as lead pastor at Faith Community Church in Santa Cruz
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2 Responses to Church Health Isn’t As Attractive As You Might Think

  1. Just like families, church size doesn’t correlate with health. A healthy family (or church) will produce kids (or members) who are empowered to go into the world to make a difference. Families and churches of all sizes can either hinder or help their kids / members in fulfilling their calling. Both churches and families are designed to be both a launch pad and a safety net. Maybe a trampoline is good picture? Something that gets us further than we could on our own, but also provides a safe place to land if / when things go awry.

    I agree that health doesn’t always correlate with fame / buzz. But a healthy church should have a wonderfully attractive and refreshing “feel.” While health can definitely be scary for people who are not used to it (it sure was scary for me when I stepped into a healthy church!), but I like to believe that our God-given yearnings for true life and community are stronger than the forces that drive us from it.

  2. cubeconvict says:

    Yah, but I LIKE pancakes.

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