Healthy Churches Are Messy

Healthy Churches

Counter-intuitively, healthy churches are messy and unhealthy churches often aren't messy at all.

A healthy church is reaching people with the Gospel and those people come to Christ with messed up lives… who are growing and changing, but as they grow and change – more people come with difficult life situations in which they find themselves.

I am convinced that healthy churches are actually very messy. Unhealthy churches can actually be very clean, neat and easy. When you aren't seeing people coming to faith in Christ – there isn't a lot of messiness… just pettiness.

Here are some things that unhealthy, stagnant churches rarely have to worry about:

  • In unhealthy churches – you rarely have people who have come to Christ but are fighting same-sex attraction. They are praying that God will take that temptation away, but he hasn't.
  • In unhealthy churches – you don't have a lot of divorce where next steps need to be figured out now that they've come to Christ.
  • In unhealthy churches – you have more than enough people to lead community groups and serve in all leadership positions because most people in the church have known Christ for a long time.
  • In unhealthy churches – there isn't a huge need for many trained counselors. The pastoral staff can handle all those who have counseling needs.
  • In unhealthy churches – budgets are usually predictable and pretty easy to set because they aren't reaching a lot of people who have never given money away to a church. 

Healthy, growing churches are very, very messy.  And I wouldn't want it any other way.


  1. Aaron –

    I havent read that book. I read his Nine Marks of a Healthy Church book and agreement with a large part of it. I know that Mark Dever and I likely disagree on several things too (but of course, he has no idea who I am). But I loved the overall content of that book, and I have great appreciation for Mark, his theology and his ministry.

    Sorry I cant be more specific.

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