That’s a very common question I get asked, especially since people know I go to a small-sized church (or forget its name. for the record, it’s Redeemer’s Grace Church. http://www.rgcsd.com. come check us out when you’re in San Diego). I always struggle with how to answer. What do I talk about? The number of people that we have gained/lost? The state of our ministries?
I think these are areas that people may be interested in knowing about, but I don’t think that these are the right ways to answer the question, “How is your church?” Are these the priorities that we should be focused on? Its physical size? The health of its programs? These responses aren’t wrong in of themselves, but they reveal what we deem significant to the state of our local churches.
Then what’s the most important aspect of the church (aside from Christ the head)? The people. You know, the individuals that make up the body of Christ. So a better question to ask sounds like: How has your church been growing spiritually from the Sunday sermons? The emphasis is on the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit that causes believers to bear fruit (Gal. 5:22-23). Hearing about that is always encouraging to me and leads me to praise God for His faithfulness to His elect (Heb. 13:5). The quality of discipleship should be a higher priority than the quantity of disciples (I’m not saying numerically adding to the church is not important. I will address this in a future post).
Brothers and sisters, let’s remember what makes up a healthy church: healthy members. Let’s not only ask the questions with the right perspective but answer them that way too. I’m guilty of not doing these things and talking about numbers, so please keep me accountable in this aspect.
Note: This post was inspired by an article by one of my favorite bloggers (http://www.challies.com/articles/asking-better-questions).