Here are five signs of an emotionally healthy church.
No “Hair Triggers”
Not long ago I had a church member tell me that the church kitchen and fellowship hall were a mess and whoever used it last time didn’t clean up after themselves (which the church rules tell us to do) and so they called the lady who’s family was using the church, but the lady she called about this was not happy and snapped back at her. She came back and said to this woman, “It’s going to be taken care of!” This lady was now hesitant to say anything for fear of being jumped on, but if your church membership doesn’t have “hair triggers” where you can talk about anything without fear of someone getting angry, you’ve got an emotionally healthy church.
A Grace Filled Environment
Our church is very special. We have people who are on disability, others who are on welfare, some who are unemployed, some who were former prisoners, and others in similar situations, so the last thing we’d ever do is judge someone for their past. We don’t trip over what’s behind us and what’s in the past for others is just that; it’s in the past. An emotionally healthy church accepts people from all walks of life and in all situations, regardless of their past.
Hunger for Truth
Sadly, when we have church announcements and even during the sermon, some of the members are on their cell phone either surfing the Internet or texting and some even playing Candy Crush. What is missing? It is a hunger for the Word of God. I would ask them, “Is Jesus most precious to you” or are you more interested in reaching level seven in the latest Facebook game? If your church is hungering to know more of the Word of God, then you’ve got an emotionally healthy church, even though a few of our members don’t have this hunger and would rather be on their cell phones.
Eagerness to Serve
How many areas do you serve in your local church? Do you help with the children’s ministry, the nursery, Sunday school, or even in an outreach ministry? An emotionally healthy church is one where the membership are eager to serve because they know that the church is commissioned to evangelize but also to serve in the body as Jesus would be doing if He were still here on earth. Either they serve others and are doing it for Christ (Matt 25:40) or Jesus will tell some, “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me” (Matt 25:45).
A Christocentric Church
The Brethren Church, which is what our denomination is, has always been Christocentric or a Christ-centered church, and that’s as it should be. A church that is focused on things and not Christ cannot put Christ at the center of its worship services, and remember He is the One Who we are supposed to focus on. A Christocentric church is an emotionally healthy church.
An emotionally healthy church is one where people take correction and don’t respond with anger when some correction comes along; it is a grace-filled church, accepting others despite their past; they have a hunger for the Word and want more of it; they have an eagerness to serve; and the center of worship and study is Christ and and Him alone.