What makes a healthy church? How would we know if we are doing OK or not at St John’s with St Mary’s, Isleworth? The leadership in the Diocese of London have given churches three headings to help us think about what a healthy church could and should be, a kind of MOT for churches, and a way to think about plans for the future. In short, a healthy church forms confident disciples, is a compassionate community and shows creative growth.
Confident disciples. A healthy church will be forming confident disciples. A disciple of Jesus is a person who wants to follow and obey Jesus in all of life – at home, at work as well as at church. Following Jesus is about life-long learning and growth, and not just about attending Sunday services. Church should be a place to resource this in the lives of those in the community.
Compassionate Communities. A healthy church will be a compassionate community, seeking to show the love of God in practical ways to those within and outside the church community. The Shelter Project, The Family Food club or our Foodbank might be ways we are trying to do that in our community.
Creative Growth. A healthy church will be a place that grows, not just in number, but also in our service to others and love of God. Healthy churches also look out, and think about starting new worshiping communities or resourcing other churches to grow.
Earlier this morning, the governing body of our church – the PCC (Parochial Church Council) met to discuss our plans as a church community using these headings to steer our discussion. Watch this space for news about our plans in the coming weeks! And we’d love to hear from you – keep us posted on any ideas you might have on how we can grow and enhance church life.