Healthy Church vs. Unhealthy Church Posted by Five Stones Global

by | Dec 21, 2016 | Tips & Tools | 2 comments

This table below is adapted from Glenn Penner by Ronnie & Wouter in their article “Dependency.”

A Healthy Church Is:

1. Self-imaged

Views itself as the Body of Christ in its local situation, independent of the mission.

2. Self-functioning

Is capable of carrying on all of the essential functions of a church: worship, fellowship, preaching, teaching, evangelism, pastoral care, deaconate, etc.

3. Self-determining

Is able and does make its own decisions.

4. Self-supporting

Carries its own financial responsibilities and finances its core activities. Even in non-essential programmes of the church, the church’s contributions are primary.

5. Self-propagating

Sees itself as responsible for carrying out the Great Commission.

6. Self-giving

Knows the social needs of its community and endeavours to meet those needs with what means it has. Individuals in the church recognize and participate in financially supporting the ministries of the church.

A Dependent Church Is:

1. Mission-imaged

Views itself essentially as an extension of the foreign mission/denomination.

2. Semiautonomous-functioning

Functions autonomously within guidelines from the outside and subject to watchful scrutiny and correction. Looks to the outside for funding for both essential ministries and programs that it assumes are necessary because of the example of their founders. Worship styles, evangelistic methods, etc. tends to imitate that of the West.

3. Unable to make most decisions . . .

without the go ahead of the mission or the overseas donor-church. This is true both in terms of (applications of) church order and ecclesiastical decisions and in terms of decisions on how to plan budgets and direct funding.

4. Outside-supported

Is on permanent life support from outside sources. Does not believe that they will ever be able to accomplish what God wants it to do without outside funding. The outside source designates how the funds will be used.

5. Directed-propagation

Believes that it can only carry out the Great Commission under the condition that outside funds are provided for it. Plans for outreach are based on means that will appeal to outside supporters.

6. A contact for outside support

Identifies local needs and then makes the need known to outsiders for funding. Looks for projects that they know will appeal to outside sources, rather than on real needs. Individuals in the church typically give less to the church than they are capable of, because outsiders support the church.


  1. Reed

    Do you happen to produce this in Spanish as well? Thanks and God bless.

    • wmaadmin

      Thank you for asking! At this time we do not have this in Spanish. Would you like this tool in Spanish?


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