Monday, February 7, 2011

The Recipe for Growing Healthy Churches

Well, I'm still working on the recipe, and others may have ingredients and methods they wish to share, but here is my Recipe for Growing Healthy Churches.

* A Genuine Faith in Jesus
* Passion for the Kingdom of God
* Innovation
* Holy Spirit Filling
* Leadership Gifting
* A love for people
* A constant amount of Discipleship
* A grasp of the Word of God
* Ongoing Prayer for growth

Start with a genuine faith in Jesus. If you begin with any other ingredients, your recipe will come up short. Mix this faith with a passion for the Kingdom of God, and add the Holy Spirit Filling. This is the kind of recipe where you can never have too much Holy Spirit Filling. Over time, hone your skills in leadership and innovation and add them to the mix. Try not to get the recipe perfect at this point, as your leadership gifting and innovative skills will enhance over time (if developed in the right environment).
To create the best possible opportunity to grow healthy churches, make sure you also combine a love for people and a constant amount of discipleship. Whisk discipleship in regularly. If you stop whisking at some point, your recipe might become shallow and growth will most likely be stunted. While whisking in discipleship, make sure you add a continuing grasp of the Word of God, as a basis for the discipleship. Without this ingredient you might end up with unbiblical churches, that are self-centered, or apathetic, or judgemental, or theologically off kilter. In order to stir up the ingredients well, you must pray. Praying allows the ingredients to bear fruit, and create the recipe you so desire. Without prayer, you will have a mish-mash of 'nice' ideas, without any substance or power.

For the recipe to work, you must partner with the head chef. In fact, this is God's recipe, and we are merely trying to work with God to accomplish the finished product. When the head chef asks you to sacrifice things, you do it. When the head chef gives you advice, you take it. When the head chef warns you about a particular method in the recipe, you heed to that advice. When the head chef wants to pour out an entree of blessing upon your life, you say, 'Thank you Lord'!

When you are finished combining the ingredients according to the method shown, allow the combination to rest in the arms of God, indefinitely. Continue to combine ingredients and methods, over and over, under the leadership of the head chef. Expect a great recipe. Expect growing healthy churches that will impact people's lives around you.

Any advice on adding to, or adjusting methods to this recipe are more than appreciated.

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