On the Church Renewal Podcast we often take listener questions and in this episode we consider the criteria that would mark a church as in need of renewal.
One way we shorthand this questions with client churches is this: "If Jesus were addressing your church, what would he commend and what would he challenge?" In other words, at Flourish we are primarily interested in Jesus' score card for church health and renewal.
When we assess a church's health and vitality, in addition to looking at some sociological and demographic data, we examine their commonly held theological beliefs and then we look at their culture.
When we look at a churches culture we ask, "is this church committed to, and living, the way Jesus wants them to live?" So, we look at eight cultural dynamics:
1. Commitment to the Gospel
2. Commitment to the Great Commission
3. Commitment to the Greatest Commandment, To Love God
4. Commitment to the Greatest Commandment, to Love Thy Neighbor
5. Commitment to Biblical Church Membership
6. Commitment to Biblical Church Leadership
7. Commitment to the Means of Grace (The Word, Prayer, and Ordinances/Sacraments)
8. Commitment to be Transformed by The Holy Spirit
When we examine a church's cultural health we ask (1) does this church aspire to Jesus's desire for the church?, and (2) are the members of this church actually experiencing a church culture marked by Jesus's desired culture? We call these two aspects a church's Aspirational Culture and Functional Culture.
While Jesus's Scorecard for Church Culture is a shorthand way of asking "what are the criteria for church renewal" and even shorter hand answer is this: every church needs gospel renewal. Why? Because just like every Christian is on a lifelong journey of transformation and conformation to Christ, so too is every collection of christians in a congregation of local church.
Does your church need renewal? Listen to this episode and take a look at our Biblical Cultural Dynamics above and let us know what you think.