A healthy church is one that eats well, exercises regularly, breathes deeply, thinks sharply, loves intensely, and ultimately, runs all out for God. Today we focus on running…
A HEALTHY CHURCH RUNS ALL OUT FOR GOD
The final essential element that a church must exhibit in order for that church to be considered healthy is the practice of running all out for God. In this regard, the Philippians got it right. The church in Philippi set a great example of a marathon church. God had started something very healthy in that church and had every intention to carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6). In the process the Philippians strove together in the mission God had given to them, namely, to hold out the word of life for everyone in this generation to see, so that we may say that we did not run in vain (Philippians 2:16).
Runners in a race have a vision. They have their eyes set on where they need to go. They can point out their path and aim for the finish line. Likewise, a healthy church does not run aimlessly because it has as its goal salvation in Jesus Christ and it runs in God’s wisdom (1 Corinthians 9:26, Philippians 1:9). They do not stumble along the path for they run in the safety of the name of the Lord (Proverbs 4:12; 18:10). In God’s sustaining strength, the healthy church runs and does not become weary (Isaiah 40:31). Healthy followers of Jesus run with perseverance (Hebrews 12:1).
A healthy church engaged in a run, reminds me of Eric Liddell in the movie Chariots of Fire. Eric, believing that God had created him to run and to run very quickly, would hurtle himself forward, passionately throwing his head back and extending his arms. A healthy church runs like that. A healthy church runs with passion, with abandon, with authenticity, with speed, with agility, with determination and with sacrifice. A healthy church runs full strength through the course of life all out for Jesus (Philippians 4:13).
The healthy church, living on a good diet, a routine of regular exercise, deep breathing, godly thinking and intense love is equipped to run all out for God. And that is a necessary outcome. For being able to run through the streets of this world bringing others to know Jesus Christ is the most essential element of a healthy church (Matthew 28:19-20).
This is the final part of a series of posts exploring the essential elements that must exist in order for a church to be considered healthy. This material stems from an assignment I completed for my most recent course at ACTS: “Developing a Healthy Church.”