— 25 —
What things contribute to the health
and stability of a church congregation?

Many things can contribute to the stability of a church. Here are five of the most important features:

(1) Good Leadership — Wise, godly leadership plays a critical role in the stability of a church. Leadership can bring the best or the worst out of people. People generally become a product of what is poured into them — not in teaching only, but in the lifestyle and example of their leadership. Statistics show that a congregation which sits under the same pastor's ministry for three years will begin to emulate his character. Unfortunately, if leadership is corrupt, pretentious, domineering, or so forth, a congregation will begin to take on these traits. In order for a church to become stable it must have leadership with stability, maturity, and integrity. The pastor needs to be authoritative, but gentle. He must be a peacemaker, sound and impartial in his decision making. A pastor who earns the respect of his flock through his godly lifestyle will develop a significant influence to lead people.

(2) Balanced Doctrine — Sometimes people have "pet" doctrines which they especially like to hear or talk about. However, the healthy church needs the whole counsel of God's Word — the broad range of instruction. It needs to hear about the benefits as well as the responsibilities — the past history in addition to the future prophecies, etc. It needs to hear about God's love and encouragement, as well as His warning of judgment for sin and disobedience. A well balanced diet of practical teaching with Christ at the center will lend toward stability in a church.

(3) Proper Goals — Goals are important to the stability of a church. People must have a sense of purpose, and must be kept busy in reaching those goals. People who remain idle for very long tend to get into mischief or drift away. If a church loses its vision for its purpose and mission, it will shift focus inward, and when that happens, problems will result. A stable church must set its objectives upon Jesus and His goals — reaching the lost, evangelizing the world, and meeting the needs of people.

(4) Relational Harmony — Another of the great challenges for the church is "overcoming relational problems within the body." Today there are hundreds of thousands of persons who will not return to church because of offenses or misunderstandings which occurred there. America is a nation filled with wounded Christians — people who have been hurt in a church somewhere. And unfortunately the organized church has not been very good at healing the injured. It is no wonder that Jesus and the writers of the epistles devoted much of their teaching toward brethren loving and getting along with one another. A stable church must teach much on kindness, love, forgiveness and continually find ways of bringing people together to interact and fellowship with each other.

(5) Financial Responsibility — A church must be a wise and honest steward over the tithes and offerings of God's people. The issue of money — how it is raised or spent — is one of the most sensitive matters that many churches face. The church should keep no secrets how it spends its money. Matters should be kept out in the open, with good books and accounting records kept. Suspicion of dishonesty or unwise business decisions have split many churches — they have ruined the reputation of a church in many communities. Prudent leadership will seek to inspire a congregation's confidence of how financial matters are handled. A church is wise to avoid debt and other obligations which place an unreasonable burden on its contributors and leaders. Tithing should be taught and the church should learn to operate within its means. Constant appeals for money from the pulpit, tends to discourage the flock.

This article is from the book, What People Ask About the Church, authored and copyrighted © by Dr. Dale A. Robbins, 1990-2015, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA - Nashville, TN. Unless otherwise stated, all scripture references were taken from The New King James Bible, © Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982. You may download this article for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple use permission form. Many of our writings are also available as free pdf tri-fold pamphlets, which can be downloaded for reproduction from our Online Catalog. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain quantities of this title in other formats, email us. A newer revised version of this book is available from Amazon. If you have appreciated these online materials, help us reach the world with the Gospel by considering a monthly or one-time tax-deductable donation.