Keys to a Healthy Church
Around 2,000 years ago Jesus Christ of Nazareth came to this earth and dwelt among man. His life, death and teachings leave the ideal model in attaining a healthy prayer life, first class leadership, inseparable community and worldwide missions. Although the activities listed are all great and desirous church goals, something greater is needed. True health, on a corporate and individual basis, can only come from an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the epitome concerning church health and it is to Him first that attention must be given. For Jesus is the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God (Col 2:19).
From Revelation 2:2-4 a clear picture emerges what Jesus Christ is after from a church body. He says, “I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you can't bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. The church at Ephesus as history suggests had John the beloved as pastor and some 60,000 members. Looking at the accounts contained in Revelation the church was very busy doing great works. They were patient, hated evil, had discernment, and suffered for His name all without growing weary. From every vantage point Ephesus was an extremely healthy church. Yet one thing was missing, their first love. Jesus Christ is after the hearts of mankind, not works that can be accomplished in His name. Keeping a relationship with Jesus Christ is the uppermost importance and foundation of church health.
On a personal level, God begins by giving a person a new heart, new spirit and He causes them to keep His statutes. His statutes become a way of life for the recipient. Gods will is their greatest desire. While on earth, Jesus stressed that He came to do the will of the Father. He taught His disciples in Luke 11:2,“When you pray, say: Father hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come Your will be done(ESV).”
The first lesson taught by Rev. Brady Boyd, Dr. Robert Morris, and Dr. Joseph Winger was the importance of prayer. Through prayer we may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Col 1:9).
At different times Jesus would withdraw from His disciples and crowds to pray alone. He often went up mountains and lonely places to pray. It is noted in the gospel that Christ would pray early in the morning, often while it was still dark. In the gospel of Luke 22:31,32 Jesus prays for Simon, He says “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that you faith may...