Friday, July 16, 2010

LifeWay Research: "Transformational Church" Takes Aim At Real Church Health

By LifeWay Staff

For decades, pastors concerned about church health sought the best counsel they could find – and ended up frustrated because their pews were filled with superficial Christians who made little impact on the world around them. Members often streamed out the back door as fast as they could be brought in the front.

“Traditional measures of church health addressed important outcomes, such as church growth and new believers,” said LifeWay President Thom Rainer. “Yet these measures seemed incomplete compared to biblical standards and proved difficult to use in leadership. New measures were needed to ensure the church’s activity is transformational.”

In a series of discussions, Rainer and LifeWay Research President Ed Stetzer hammered out the concept of a “transformational church” and developed a set of measurements that not only reflected biblical standards but also proved helpful to pastors trying to measure their progress toward church health.

“Transformational churches make disciples whose lives are being transformed by the gospel so that the culture around them is ultimately transformed,” Stetzer said. “Transformational churches are deeply committed to the essential foundations of disciple-making such as worship, community and mission. Both their values and practices reflect an understanding of their ministry context.”

A survey of 7,000 Protestant pastors illustrated the need for and helped shape the new measurements.

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Until next time...share the journey and enjoy the ride!

Pat