Steple

What does strong church look like?

Some churches are stronger than others. They have a feel about them. They feel strong, mature, developed. Now a lot of what makes a churches strong is intangible. I don’t think it’d be possible to measure the spiritual vitality of a community of believers. But I do think that there are a couple of things that can be externally observed which serve as a litmus for where a church is. Here’s my thinking:

In the Baptist Union there are four types of churches: A-type, B-type, C-type and D-type churches. The designations are make believe, but it kinda helps us categorise who’s who in the zoo.

A-type churches are Self-governing, Self-supporting and Self-propagating. They are generally large, vibrant communities which have a long history.

B-type churches are Self-governing and Self-supporting. They are generally medium in size.

C-type churches are Self-governing. There are often smaller communities.

D-type churches are unconstituted or failed communities.

By saying Self-governing I mean autonomous, properly constituted churches.

By saying Self-supporting I mean that the church in question has called a fulltime shepherd who they are able to adequately compensate.

By saying Self-propagating I mean that the community is actively engaged in creating a community of like-minded believers in another properly constituted church.

Comments?

Mark Penrith (356 Posts)

Mark is a pastor at Crystal Park Baptist Church. Crystal Park Baptist Church is a community of regenerated believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord; gathered together for teaching, worship, fellowship and evangelism. Mark is married to Liezl, has three children, Kaitlyn, Kathryn and Thomas and loves preaching, writting and thinking.


6 thoughts on “What does strong church look like?”

  1. Thought provoking question. However I think that most people’s ideas for success is rather worldly. We have a real danger of venturing into pragmatism if we start trying to “do church” It is good if a church can “self” govern and propagate but that is not the point of church in my opinion.

    1. Yes I agree. I thought a while before pushing post because I don’t want to be perceived as having a pragmatic approach towards church. I’m thinking that this approach is anti seeker sensitive, and anti financial only. It’s a litmus. And I’m thinking that those three functions – Self-governing, Self-supporting and Self-propagating – have some Biblical support?

      This post isn’t intended to address the point of church in anyway.

  2. Thought provoking question. However I think that most people’s ideas for success is rather worldly. We have a real danger of venturing into pragmatism if we start trying to “do church” It is good if a church can “self” govern and propagate but that is not the point of church in my opinion.

    1. Yes I agree. I thought a while before pushing post because I don’t want to be perceived as having a pragmatic approach towards church. I’m thinking that this approach is anti seeker sensitive, and anti financial only. It’s a litmus. And I’m thinking that those three functions – Self-governing, Self-supporting and Self-propagating – have some Biblical support?

      This post isn’t intended to address the point of church in anyway.

  3. Sure, a worker is worth his wages. scripture says “don’t muzzle the ox that reads the corn:) In the mission churches I served though they would not support themselves mostly yet I found at least some of the rich in spiritual things. I think the expectations have always that a church should be self governing. self propagating? maybe but not essential.

  4. Sure, a worker is worth his wages. scripture says “don’t muzzle the ox that reads the corn:) In the mission churches I served though they would not support themselves mostly yet I found at least some of the rich in spiritual things. I think the expectations have always that a church should be self governing. self propagating? maybe but not essential.

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