Church Health Checks
Who is a Church Health Check for?
Whether your church is growing or even declining, it can be really helpful to step back and take an objective look at yourself and the effectiveness of your activities. The aim of the church health check is not for an ‘outsider’ to come and say how church should be done, but rather for the church to benefit from a ‘third party friend’ to assist them through a proven process in which they can gain a genuine idea of the strengths and struggles of the church. The best time to initiate this check is while the church is still active. It is one of the tools that the Church Revitalisation Project use.
Churches asking for a church health check will first be sent a questionnaire for the leadership to complete. This is in itself a helpful exercise as it gets leaders thinking together about their own assessment of the church’s current situation. It is all too easy to find that the urgent issues of the moment cloud our vision of the realities that some objective questions can bring to light. Questionnaires are also given to the church members. Following the comments from both leaders and members, the adviser will produce a report and recommendations for presentation to the church leaders. The report may include suggestions for additional advice or ministry support, making use of connections through the sponsoring organisations. At all stages the local church leadership remain in control of the process.
Possible next steps
Churches who are considering appointing church staff would find it particularly helpful to conduct a church health check as part of their preparation to welcome a new worker. Indeed, recognising the gifts God has already given to the church is an essential element of determining what sort of staff role might be most helpful. Furthermore, a church health check report could help potential candidates determine if they are a good fit.
Many churches will not want to appoint staff, but they would benefit from the help of an evangelist, Bible teacher or perhaps access to training that can be locally delivered and in keeping with the church’s ethos. We are developing a network of senior workers (including some of our church health check advisers) to supervise missionary teams who can support churches in their mission – either short term or longer.