Building a Healthy Church Part 2: Healthy "Mission-Oriented" Churches

drby Allen Ratta (@allenratta)

Let’s revisit the matrix we introduced in our last post as we examine the nature of the “Mission-Oriented” church. There are many churches that excel in mission but are unhealthy in other areas. The matrix helps us to see the big picture of church health dynamics.

church health chart

We learn the external characteristics of a “mission-oriented” Church from Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.”

  • Service is defined in terms of tasks
  • Personality tends to be extroverted and assertive 
  • Success is defined in terms of results, (i.e. numerical growth, battles won)
  • Ministry style tends to be about being effective
  • The pastor serves two primary roles: The Commander in Chief and Chief Servant 

I have noticed a pattern about “mission churches” over the years. Sometimes they become highly focused on foreign missions when the church is not growing and is largely ineffective at local missions. In these cases, foreign missions can become a distraction to seeing the overall health of the full missional capacity of the church. 

The role of the pastor tends to create an internal view of this kind of church as a “Functional Body ” with a job to do, as is described in Ephesians 4:16: “...according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body." If there are too few working parts, the Pastor functions as a Physical Therapist. If the parts are working on the wrong tasks, the Pastor Functions as an HR Manager. If there are too many Chiefs, the Pastor functions as a Referee and if there are not enough Chiefs, the Pastor functions as a micro-manager.

When the other personas of the church are being focused on too, mission-oriented becomes a positive, balanced thing. 

Have you ever been a part of a church like this, that neglected the other aspects of the church's role in favor of an almost militant approach to growth?




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