Other Significant Growth Factors that come from these top Seven

That God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5: 19

8. Healthy churches that are growing in Christ have leaders who focus on Christ and serve Him. Their leadership style is not by will; it is by being a servant. “Servant Leadership” is modeled and practiced.

9. Healthy churches that are growing in Christ have people that are disciplined and growing in Christ. This is the reason they are loving and caring, practicing the “one another” passages. They are enamored by God’s presence in their church and life, and thus place Christ first, acting on His character and call! They are not selfish or inwardly focused, but care for others and focus on their community and world.

10. Healthy churches that are growing in Christ have a system of pastoral care. They train their staff and leaders to immediately respond when they hear of a church member in need. They hire licensed, qualified people and/or train and assign trained deacons or care workers; also, a key person is in charge.

11. Healthy churches that are growing in Christ have effective evangelism, stewardship, and discipleship. These programs come from those top seven factors! As people are transformed, they can be taught and motivated. They also tend to spend at least one-third of their resources of budget and talent in outreach and missions.

12. Healthy churches that are growing in Christ have a well thought out, biblically empowered vision and mission statement. This is clearly defined by a purpose that points to Christ, and strategies on what God has called them to do and be. In addition, the people know this and are willing to act on it. It is one thing to write it out, but another thing to act it out. The vision does not lead the church; rather, it s a motto that encapsulates the work of the Spirit and the precepts of Scripture that calls, empowers, and employs the church. A vision is a sign to show what is happening and help others see the direction of the church so they know where to go. A vision will not motivate or lead, just as placing a label for soda on a can of water does not make it a soda.

13. Healthy churches that are growing in Christ tend to organize and mobilize their people according to their Spiritual Gifts! The people are more content and motivated so serve in a team manner when they serve in their area of their giftedness. The quarrels and apathy will dry up as the energies are redirected and channeled in a godly way. People will function less in their own strength and more in the power of the Holy Spirit.

14. Healthy churches that are growing in Christ empower the people in their care. They are training, discipling, recognizing, and encouraging their people, especially those in critical roles. They do not see or use volunteers just as helpers or as people to control and manipulate, but as the essential tools and prime resources with which to glorify God, enablers of the goals of missions and needs to be reached. These churches see the pastor as the trainer for the congregation. If the senior pastor feels they do not have the gifts and abilities to equip and train others to do ministry (what the biblical principle of a “pastor” is), the church hires or build teams around them that do! If the training is not done, the church will fail! Some pastors are great teachers, but cannot do anything else. A pastor must operate in his gifted area, and encourage others who will compensate for him in the areas where he is weak or does not have the time.

15. Healthy churches that are growing in Christ are willing to and do confront sin, evil, gossip, slander, manipulators, and heresy in the church—immediately! The leadership puts down gossip and solves conflict quickly. Healthy churches move ahead in purpose and unity.

16. Healthy churches that are growing in Christ have pastors who are real, joyful, and authentic, and lead healthy, disciplined lives. Their leaders are learning and growing in community with one another, willing to go beyond their prejudices and fears and embrace Christ. They are willing to publicly repent, apologize for past mistakes, make improvements, and change. They do not have thick skin as much as loving hearts, and they give people grace and room to grow. They are not afraid to step on the toes of others, but remain loving, listening, and firmly uncompromising to the Word.

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2 Responses

  1. Is it scriptural for women to be deacons in church leadership? And if so, what is the Scripture reference?

    • Women in ministry

      This is a hot issue, and I do not want to offend or cause anyone any grief or confusion. This is a very minor issue theologically for me, and I usually stay away from it. I have served as a pastor in denominations that ordain women such as the Presbyterian Church and in churches that do not like my present one Christian Reformed. I have known some very gifted and qualified women pastors that have left me scratching my head, however:

      Whether people like it or not in this politically correct environment, the Bible does not support women elders or pastors (1 Tim. 2:12-14; 3:2; Titus 1:5-7). Men are called to be leaders in the church. The fact that women elders and pastors exist is a sign that men are not doing their God-given job.

      However I would not leave a church for this as long as the women in ministry are submitted and under to a higher position and authority of a man and or board. The fact is, if women are not in ministry, we would not have much ministry in the church! Also I believe these passages speak more to the final authority in the church such as a senior pastor or ruling elder not to a teacher in Sunday School or a board member and the such.

      I hope this helps, Blessings

      Richard

      Num. 6:24

      Here is an article written by a friend of mine that can explain it better
      that I:

      Should Women Be Pastors and Elders?

      In a social climate of complete equality in all things, the biblical
      teaching of only allowing men to be pastors and elders is not popular. Many
      feminist organizations denounce this position as antiquated and
      chauvinistic. In addition, many Christian churches have adopted the social
      standard and allowed women pastors and elders in the church. But the
      question remains, is this biblical?
      My answer to this question is, “No, women are not to be pastors and
      elders.” Many may not like that answer, but it is, I believe, an accurate
      representation of the biblical standard. You make the decision after reading
      this paper.

      First of all, I believe that women are, for the most part,
      under-appreciated and under-utilized in the church. I also believe that
      there are many gifted women who might very well do a better job at preaching
      and teaching than many men. However, it isn’t gifting that is the issue, but
      God’s order and calling. What does the Bible say? We cannot come to God’s
      word with a social agenda and make it fit our wants. Rather, we must change
      and adapt to what it says.
      In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, the garden of
      Eden, and Adam and Eve. He put Adam in the garden and gave him the authority
      to name all the animals. Afterwards, God made Eve as a helper to Adam.(1)
      This is an important concept because Paul refers to the order of creation in
      his epistle to Timothy when he discusses the relationship between men and
      women in the church. Let’s take a look.
      “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man,
      but remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And
      it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell
      into transgression” (1 Tim. 2:12-14 — all quotes from the Bible are from
      the NASB). This passage has several interesting areas of discussion, but for
      our purpose we will focus on authority. At the very least, there is an
      authority structure set up by God. The woman is not to have authority over
      the man in the church context. But this does not extend to the
      political/economic world. In the Old Testament Deborah was a judge in Israel
      over men. Also, in the New Testament, Phoebe played an important role in the
      church at Cenchrea (Romans 16). There is no doubt that women supported Paul
      in many areas and were great helpers in the church (Act 2:17; 18:24; 21:8).
      But what Paul is speaking of in 1 Tim. 2 is the relationship between men and
      women in the church, not in a social or political context.
      When we look further at Paul’s teachings we see that the
      bishop/overseer is to be the husband of one wife (1 Tim. 3:2) who manages
      his household well and has a good reputation (1 Tim. 3:4-5, 7). Deacons must
      be “men of dignity”(1 Tim. 3:8). Paul then speaks of women in verse 11 and
      their obligation to receive instruction. Then in verse 12, Paul says “Let
      deacons be husbands of one wife…” Again, in Titus 1:5-7, Paul says, “For
      this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains,
      and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man be
      above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not
      accused of dissipation or rebellion. For the overseer must be above reproach
      as God’s steward…” Notice that Paul interchanges the word ‘elder’ and
      ‘overseer’.
      In each case, the one who is an elder, deacon, bishop, or overseer is
      instructed to be male. He is the husband of one wife, responsible, able to
      “exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).
      We see no command for the overseers to be women. On the contrary, women are
      told to be “dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all
      things” (1 Tim. 3:11). Why is it that it is the men who are singled out as
      the overseers? It is because of the created order of God (Gen. 1-2; 1 Tim.
      2:12-14). This is not merely a social custom that fell away with ancient
      Israel.
      Additionally, in the Old Testament in over 700 mentions of priests,
      every single one was a male. There is not one instance of a female priest.
      This is significant because priests were ordained by God to hold a very
      important office of ministering the sacrifices. This was not the job of
      women.
      Therefore, from what I see in Genesis 1-2, 1 Timothy 2, and Titus 1,
      the normal and proper person to hold the office of elder/pastor is to be a
      man.

      What About Galatians 3:28?

      “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man,
      there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal.
      3:28).
      This verse is often used to support the idea that women can hold the
      offices of elder and pastor because there is neither male nor female in
      Christ. The argument states that if we are all equal, then women can be
      pastors.
      Unfortunately, those who use this verse this way have failed to read
      the context. Verse 23 talks about being under the Law “before faith came”
      and how we are brought closer to Jesus and have become sons of God by faith.
      We are no longer under law, but grace and we are “Abraham’s offspring, heirs
      according to the promise” (v. 29).(2) The point of this passage is that we
      are all saved by God’s grace according to the promise of God and that it
      doesn’t matter who you are, Jew, Greek, slave, free, male, or female. All
      are saved the same way, by grace. In that, there is neither male nor female.
      This verse is not talking about church structure. It is talking about
      salvation “in Christ.” It cannot be used to support women as pastors because
      that isn’t what it is talking about. Instead, to find out about church
      structure and leadership, you need to go to those passages that talk about
      it: 1 Timothy 2 and Titus 1.

      Being a Pastor or Elder is to be in Authority

      God is a God of order and balance. He has established order within the
      family (Gen. 3:16; 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18-21 ) and the church
      (1 Tim. 2:11-14; 1 Cor. 11:8-9). Even within the Trinity there is an order,
      a hierarchy. The Father sent the Son (John 6:38) and both the Father and the
      Son sent the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26). Jesus said, “For I have come
      down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me”
      (John 6:38). It is clear that God is a God of order and structure.
      In creation, God made Adam first and then Eve to be his helper. This is
      the order of creation. It is this order that Paul mentions in 1 Tim. 2:11-14
      when speaking of authority. Being a pastor or an elder is to be in the place
      of authority. Therefore, within the church, for a woman to be a pastor or
      elder, she would be in authority of men in the church which contradicts what
      Paul says in 1 Tim. 2:11-14.

      But Doesn’t This Teaching Belittle Women?

      No, male leadership does not belittle women. Jesus was given his
      authority by God the Father (Matt. 28:18). He was sent by God (John 6:38).
      He said the Father was greater than He (John 14:28). Did this belittle
      Jesus? Of course not. Women are of great value in the church and need to be
      used more and more according to the gifts given them.
      Does the wife’s submission to the husband mean that she is less than
      the husband, less important, or belittled? Again, not at all. Not having a
      place of leadership in the church does not mean a woman is less of a person,
      less important to God, or inferior. All are equal before God whether it be
      Jew, Gentile, free, slave, male, or female. But in the church, God has set
      up an order the same way he set one up in the family. The chain of command
      is Jesus, the man, the wife, and the children.

      What About Women Who Say They are Called By God to Be Pastors?

      There are women pastors in the world who love their congregations and
      have stated that they are called by God to be pastors. Of course, I cannot
      agree with this considering the previous analysis of the biblical position.
      Instead, I believe they have usurped the position of men and gone against
      the norm of scriptural revelation. Additionally, those who state that they
      are called by God because of the great job they are doing and the gifting
      they have received are basing their theology upon experience and not
      scripture.
      The issue is simple: are they submitting to the word of God or are they
      making the word of God submit to their desires?

      What About a Missionary Woman Who Establishes a Church?

      Scripture establishes the norm. As Christians we apply what we learn
      from the word, to the situations at hand. So, what about the situation where
      a woman missionary has converted a group of people, say in the jungle
      somewhere, and she has established a church? In that church, she is then
      functioning as a pastor and teacher having authority over men in the church.
      Should she not do this?
      First of all, she should not be out there alone. She should be with
      her husband or, at the very least, under the oversight of a church body in
      the presence of other women and men. Missionary work is not a lone endeavor
      to be handled by single women.
      Second, if in some highly unusual set of circumstances there is a woman
      in a lone situation, it is far more important that the word of God be
      preached and the gospel of salvation go forth to the lost than not. Whether
      it be male or female, let the gospel be spoken. However, I would say that as
      soon as there is/are males mature enough to handle eldership, that she
      should then establish the proper order of the church as revealed in
      scripture and thereby, show her submission to it.

      _______________________

      1. An important note here is that the Holy Spirit is also called the Helper
      and is no less God than Jesus and the Father.

      2. The Promise is God’s promise to Abraham to bless all the nations in Him
      (Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:8).

      from http://www.carm.org

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