The Need for Healthy Churches
South Carolina is in great need for her churches to be healthy. I truly believe that Scripture teaches that as the church goes, so goes the community. The church is God’s chosen entity for spiritual transformation of the community in which the church is placed within. As such, it is very important that each church of the South Carolina Baptist Convention seeks to become a spiritually healthy church.
The Intentional Church Multiplication Process has a two-fold aim, which is:
- The development of spiritually healthy churches
- The spiritual transformational impact of the community by a spiritually healthy church
The Intentional Church Multiplication Process is designed to assist a church to move towards spiritual health so that that church can have a true spiritual impact on their community.
The hallmark of a spiritually healthy church is found in seven key areas, as shown in Acts 2:41-47. These seven key areas are:
- Leadership. No church will move beyond the leadership of the church. The church rises and falls upon the leadership of the church. God uses human leaders to transform both the church and the community. There are two aspects of local leadership: pastoral and lay leadership. Both aspects of leadership greatly affect the spiritual life of the church. Each church needs to have a leadership development track to train and develop the leadership skills of the lay leadership of the church. Each member of the pastoral staff needs to have a coach and mentor to assist him in his leadership development. Each pastor needs to intentionally seek to improve his leadership skills on a regular basis.
- Discipleship. The Great Commission commissions and compels each member of the church to be a disciple who makes disciples. Perhaps the greatest failure of the modern church is the failure of the church to make disciples who make disciples. The modern church does a great job of teaching the Bible, but biblical education is not biblical discipleship. Biblical discipleship is the “hallmark” of a church that is spiritually healthy and that has a spiritual transformation on the community.
- Evangelism. South Carolina is dying and going to hell. Everyday people from South Carolina are dying and populating hell and the church is remaining inside of its walls, waiting for the people to come to the worship services. The day of an attractual worship service impacting the community is gone in most instances. Most of the churches in South Carolina will not be able to spiritually impact its community through an attractual worship service. But every church can impact its community through an intentional evangelistic outreach. Each church needs to develop an evangelistic strategy.
- Relationships. The church that is spiritually health and has a spiritual impact on its community is a church that has developed into a church of deep and passionate relationships. The lost world is looking for genuine relationships. The spiritually healthy church has learned how to develop life changing relationships both within the church and out in the community. The world is looking for genuine relationships and the church should be the place that provides this relational environment.
- Worship. Each healthy church has a worship service that allows the congregation to encounter God each and every worship service. No worship service can ever be duplicated and as such, its service should allow the congregation to encounter God. Spiritually healthy churches have spiritually impacting worship services.
- Prayer. Prayer is the backbone of the church. Everything the church does should be in and through prayer. Every church and church members believes in prayer but few churches have a prayer system and strategies that will allow the church to impact the community through prayer. Prayer should be the greatest resource that the church has to impact the lives of both people within and outside of the church. A healthy church is one in which prayer is not just something that is believed in but where prayer is the skeleton system of the church.
- Missional Ministries. Spiritually healthy churches are churches that have missional ministries in the community and to the farthest ends of the earth. Spiritually healthy churches have provide missional opportunities, missional outreaches to the un-reached and under-reached people groups of their communities and then sets up mission outposts within the community. Many churches will send its members on mission trips around the world but fail to have a missional outreach into their community. Spiritually healthy churches have developed missional strategies to reach the lost of the community.
The aim of the Intentional Church Multiplication Process is assisting churches of the South Carolina Baptist Convention to become spiritually healthy and to have a spiritual transformation on its community.