Book review by Edwin Snejko
Dear Brother and Sister reading this I would like to ask you what do you look for in a church? You might not have even asked yourself that question up until now. Do you look for a church that is big? small? Or has beautiful music? Or maybe even have great sermons? What is a Healthy Church?
There are 9 points that mark a healthy church where 3 of them are essential and the other 6 are very important. Don’t get me wrong and think that the six are any lesser than the three all are crucial to a healthy church but before we dive into these points let me tell you something. “If you call yourself a Christian but you are not a member of the church you regularly attend, I worry that you might be going to hell” The author states this not to shock you or say that being a church member makes you a Christian but he wants to show you the urgency of the need of a healthy church in a Christians life.
The first mark of a healthy church is expositional preaching. What this word means in its simplest form is preaching that exposes God’s word. There are many types of preaching and this does not just apply to pastors or preachers but to the people as well. It is a commitment from both ends, for one to speak God's word and the other is to listen to it. The second mark is biblical theology in where we base the certain verse of the whole bible not just a section of it. It is crucial for us not just how we are thought but also what we are being taught. The third essential point comes down to the biblical understanding of the Good News. The Good News meaning that Christ died for our sins and rose again in this understanding of the whole gospel. We have to make sure that our understandings lie within the gospel in hopes to understand a clearer picture of our God.
A healthy church should have a biblical understanding of conversion. God uses us for his marvelous plan and spreading the good news. The conversion is also not just for other people but for us too because God works within us to regenerate our spirit. The next mark is a biblical understanding of evangelism which is largely shaped by the previous mark mentioned. If the Bible shapes our minds on how God works and by what he teaches along with the understanding of the sinful nature of humans then the right mindset of evangelism usually follows. Another mark is a biblical understanding of church membership in where it is a commitment and a responsibility. This means that we support each other in love and our good deeds and to encourage one another. Biblical church discipline is also a very important mark to where the church draws the line between itself and the world. This includes the exclusion of members who have sin that they refuse to let go of. A great aspect of a healthy church is biblical discipleship and growth and I don’t mean in numbers but spiritual. If a tree is alive it grows we have to do the same and bring forth good fruit so that God can be glorified. The other point is biblical church leadership in more specific terms than the elders.
Elders are those who are devoted to prayer and ministry of the Word. A lot of times we don’t give enough attention to these positions in church but they are crucial just like everybody else.
There was so much more that I wanted to relay from this book that would take me forever and why relay everything when you can read it yourself? If any of this information has got you asking questions or getting you curious I strongly recommend this book. I personally had to read this book a couple of times for it is short but powerful.