All of us love to exercise, yea right! And for some of us our bodies are the result of our workout. Well the church isn't that much different. A church that is healthy and able to fend off infections that could do harm is a body that is in good shape. Part 2 - So how can you tell of the church is in good shape?
Is it willing to grow? - Now I don't know any of us who are willing to put on another 20 pounds. But church growth isn't about how many people are in the pew but how many people are connecting to the church body. There is a difference. Never assume that because people come to church that they are a part of the church. Do people connect with this local body of believers? Can new people who attend here make friends with new guests? Can guests feel like a part of this church soon after attending?
Does the body care for itself? - Ok this is where the health nut has to come out in us. When we feel sick we go to the doctor. When we cut our finger we get a bandaid. But when someone in the church is hurting or in need, do we respond? I know people who are sickly. I tell them, "Go to the doctor!" They don't do it, why? Because the might get bad news. I understand, I don't want to hear it either. But let me be blunt. While I am no physician. There are people who if they would have listen to my advise years ago would still be alive today! So listen up!! To say, "Well it's the pastors job to go care for people in need." is a cop out. The Bible makes it clear. We are suppose to take care of each other. Here is another fact that you may know. People are not all that excited to see me coming. Unless I have a "magic" answer for their need - they really expect me to show up. What really does them good is to know that other people who claim to be Christians show up and do what they are suppose to do.
It is willing to exercise? - Specifically are the people of the church willing to get with others for the purpose of fellowship, and/or discipleship and care? Small Groups have a key to the future of any church today. Without them people will not receive the care they need from others. When someone comes to me and says, "Pastor, I just don't feel connected with the church? I don't they that anyone here cares about me?" I have to ask them if they are part of a small group? When they say no (which is followed by some lame excuse) I point out that no one can care for you if no one knows you need cared for!