Recently I was made aware that Coke has never patented their soft drink. The reason they ignored this process is if they patented their product they would have to reveal the ingredients. Coke’s secret ingredient makes their product successful and their drink is consumed around the world at 1.9 billion drinks per day. Ironically, while we do not know the specific ingredients that are in the soda, Americans continue to make the original Coke a leading soft drink in our culture.
Many people look at successful churches and wonder what makes them successful. What are the “secret” ingredients that causes churches to grow and become impactful throughout their community? While the ingredients and flavor may differ a little, based on culture and other factors, the real secret to success is, in my view, not-so-secret. In fact, the word that I would use to describe a successful church is the word healthy.
Over the past several weeks we have had the opportunity to look first hand a Paul’s ingredients for a healthy church. As you may recall Titus was of Greek ancestry and discovered faith in Christ under Paul’s leadership. Later Paul took young Titus to Jerusalem as an example for the church to recognize God’s faithfulness to the gentile
world. This was a pivotal time for the Christian faith and the results continue to impact our understanding of faith in Christ alone. While Titus served on the Island of Crete Paul continued to encourage his young protege by giving specific instructions concerning his ministry. As we have studied this book together, Paul reveals 2 main ingredients that are essential to church health.
Leaders that model sound doctrine
Paul identifies the leaders appointed by God as elders. These men are given the responsibility to foster sound doctrine through their teaching and behavior. There is great value in role models who inspire us toward personal growth. In the athletic world we look to the skillful athlete who mastered his game and preforms at a high level.
These people often become models for young kids seeking to learn a sport. In the same way the church requires spiritual models who can set the standard and inspire others to follow their example. The Lord has entrusted elders in the church to become servant leaders and role models for the health of the flock. Men who will have spiritual maturity and moral integrity and will protect and prescribe a course for spiritual health in the church. Elders model healthy living that is rooted in the doctrine of the gospel.
Members committed to sound living
In addition to the vision for elders, Paul also instructs Titus to urge the members toward daily discipline and self-control. He focuses on the entire spectrum of church life: older men to younger men, older women to young women. This spectrum covers every season of life from children at home to the environment at work. Healthy personal character rooted in spiritual discipline will produce health in relationships and every social context. To neglect this discipline is a destructive practice that will ultimately lead to the dysfunction of a local church and even the society at large. The church becomes a magnetic force when members take responsibility and lead themselves spiritually as well as others in the congregation. A healthy church is made up of healthy leaders throughout the congregation. This vision of leadership is basically the process of pouring into others to multiply ministry effectiveness, expand Godly influence, and reproduce disciples for the glory of God.
Becoming a healthy church is not very complicated. There is a simplicity that calls us to focus on some basic components of our new life is Christ . My prayer is that God would continue to give us leaders that model sound doctrine and members that are committed to sound living. By God’s grace we will become a healthy church committed to advancing the gospel throughout our community.
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) who also contribute to the New Life blog.