Friday, July 26, 2013

What makes for a healthy church

Rain on the window

What is it that makes for a healthy church, not just a local congregation but the "church"?  I'm always asking this of myself and others. And here are a couple links to recent articles and authors.  But before you read them, and I hope you do, here is my short and incomplete list.

A healthy local congregation
speaks the truth gently
understands faith as a gift
is committed to justice and mercy
does not understand the Bible literally, but seriously 
is committed to relationships with other denominations and faiths and most importantly, its own neighborhood
          stands in solidarity with those who suffer
          has as its goal not to "get to heaven" or "escape hell" but love the world
understands discipleship as following Jesus, i.e. walking behind him

And here are three recent readings that may help. Just click on the links.

A daily offering from Fr. Richard Rohr

A provocative piece in the New York Times on the rebirth of "mainline" denominations

A "new" perspective on Jesus from the author of the book Zealot



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