We have looked at Mark Dever’s 9 Marks of a Healthy Church. We looked at Scripture, discussed the practicality and biblical essence of each mark. Now what?
We need to heed James’ advice, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22, NIV) In other words, we need to get busy!
How can we do this? What practical steps can we put in place to begin this journey to a healthy church? Here are a few practical things we can do, generally speaking.
First, begin by addressing one mark now. Do not wait to do it, start now! There truly is no time like the present. Part of what you do will depend on your position. If you are a deacon, you will have a greater responsibility (and ability) to further healthy change. Whatever your position, you must do something. It may involve you studying Scripture and sharing it with others. It may be asking questions in a meeting. Whatever it is, start now (and start with one). There is a biblical precedent for this in 2 Pet. 1:5-8.
Second, seek to master one mark. What do I mean? If you desire to renew a commitment to biblical church membership, read books about it. Study the Scripture passages that discuss it. Be a “church membership” expert. What this will do is provide you with the knowledge to help others (a biblical concept as well, see 1 Tim. 1:5, 4:6).
Third, challenge others! The writer of Hebrews states it like this, “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24, NASB). They may desire to focus on another area of church health (such as biblical theology). That does not matter, cheer them on to search it out!
We asked at the beginning, “Can a church be healthy?” I hope that it is evident, now, that the answer is “YES!” The church can be healthy. Now the question before us is, “Is my church healthy?” You can answer that with a “YES!” as well, but you have to get to work!