Healthy Church vs. Unhealthy Church Posted by Five Stones Global
This table below is adapted from Glenn Penner by Ronnie & Wouter in their article “Dependency.”
A Healthy Church Is:
Views itself as the Body of Christ in its local situation, independent of the mission.
Is capable of carrying on all of the essential functions of a church: worship, fellowship, preaching, teaching, evangelism, pastoral care, deaconate, etc.
Is able and does make its own decisions.
Carries its own financial responsibilities and finances its core activities. Even in non-essential programmes of the church, the church’s contributions are primary.
Sees itself as responsible for carrying out the Great Commission.
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:
Views itself essentially as an extension of the foreign mission/denomination.
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.
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.
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.