Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Foundation of a Healthy Church

As you many of you know, I am the Lead Pastor at a church in Richmond, VA. Dayton Birt of Redemption Ministries contacted me when he knew that I was going to be transitioning. There was a church in the conference that was once very predominant, but over the past several years has declined rapidly.

My wife, Dianna, and I found a group of people who wanted to touch their community with the Gospel. They had raised the white flag. I am not speaking of surrendering to Jesus (which they have done), but rather they had surrendered their past traditions, failures and successes. We feel that there is a great group of core people left to see this church "thrive" in their community.

During this revitalization project we have renamed the church to Thrive Church. We have retooled our Core Values and mission. Right now on Wednesdays we are looking at what a "healthy church" is made up of. Our goal is not to grow as fast as possible, but to become a healthy core that can grow healthy with God's timing. Unhealthy people need a healthy environment to flourish in. They will either want to become healthy, or leave.

Last Wednesday I introduced the core team at Thrive Church to the 10 Commandments of a healthy church. Dr. Sam Chand said this, "What is more important than strategy or vision? Your culture." The culture of an organization must be inspiring and encouraging, yet it must also have accountability. These 10 commandments are just guidelines to help us to remember what creates an inspiring and desirable culture.

The 10 Commandments of a Healthy Church:

          1. Thou Shall Worship God and not a Ministry Style or Tradition (past, present or future).
          2. Thou Shall Not Gossip about Others and Spread your “Opinions” to Other people about them.

          3. Thou Shall _____________________________. (Let this be open) 

          4. Thou Shall not Desire Positions but rather just be People of Production.
          5. Thou Shall not Run People off from the Church by being Mean to Them.

          6. Thou Shall be Willing to be Flexible to Find the Best Way for the Health and Growth of the Church and its People. (Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape)

          7. Thou Shall Embrace Other Races and Cultures. (racism and prejudice are  condemned by God and a mark of an immature disciple or worse, an unbeliever)
          8. Thou Shall not GET OFFENDED or STAY OFFENDED, but will act like mature adults when conflict arises. 

          9. Thou Shall work with others in a team ministry format to see the 8 systems come to pass. (speaking of Nelson Searcy's 8 Systems)
          10. Thou Shall be Generous with Lavishing Love on Others, Serving and Financial Giving.

I know there are HUNDREDS of these we could come up. These are just 10 that go along with a healthy church. You can use these with your leaders or come up with your own for your church, business or even your family.

All these commandments represent are "non-negotiables" that we must attend to.

www.ThriveChurch.ME Chesterfield, VA


  1. Kevin,
    How does your church practice church disciple? Our fellowship is working to get more healthy and has been confronted with this question in recent days. Any thoughts?

  2. Very inspiring blog, love it! Look forward to more inspiration as you work at your new church.

    Kevin Patton