The Prerequisite for Healthy and Strong Congregations

One key component to a healthy congregation is strong systems – strength for the bones.  The skeleton is the structure you have in place so that life can be added! How are the bones held together in your congregation?  What systems are in place so that people can be a part of mission, worship and relationships at your church?

I read stuff like this all the time and the question remains, how does our church get to the point of being a “whole” body (the congregation) with strong bones (systems) in place for growth and vibrancy?

The answer is here, in these few words from Proverbs 3:7-8:

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.  Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.  Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.

So, what does it mean to fear the Lord?  I like what St. Augustine said when he was asked to describe the Trinity, “if you don’t ask, I know.  If you ask me, I don’t know.”

The “fear of the Lord” is somewhat the same.  But here are some starters:

  1. The fear of the Lord is rooted in our relationship with God as his adopted      children.
  2. It’s rooted in our love for God – we cannot stand the thought of offending God in anyway – we love him too much.
  3. The fear of the Lord is rooted in our admiration for God as we contemplate, on      a regular, daily basis, all that he is and has done.
  4. The  fear of the Lord is rooted in our desire for unity with God.
  5. The fear of the Lord is rooted in our appreciation for God’s holiness.  Holy fear strikes in us a deep understanding that we must be made holy before we enter his presence.

How are these a starting point for life and growth in your church?

The fear of the Lord is the first step to a eternally focused and kingdom minded ministry, based on our response to God’s great love for us.

Then, and only then, can you begin to find health for the body (congregation) and strength for the bones (systems).

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