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Ingredients for a Healthy Church

by Hank Hanegraaff

an article from the From the President column of the Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 7: Number 1, 1994.

The Editor of the Christian Research Newsletter is Ron Rhodes.

One of the most frequently asked questions received at the Christian Research Institute revolves around the issue of choosing a good church. Although the question is framed in a variety of formats, the essence can be boiled down to: "What are the basics of a healthy, well-balanced church?"

This question has taken on added significance in recent years because of the massive impact televangelism has had in our culture. In fact, it may well be argued that the "electronic church" has, in some ways, become the prototype for the local church.

In all too many cases, worship has been replaced with entertainment; fellowship has been transformed into individualism; and the biblical concept of "every believer a witness" (Acts 8:1) has been replaced by the dubious witness of the televangelist. Indeed, the very form and function of the church has been dramatically altered.

In view of these cultural developments, it is critical that Christians have a handle on the basic ingredients of a healthy, well-balanced church. To facilitate this, I've developed the acronym G-O-D.

It is crucial that we, like the early Christian church, come to understand more fully the biblical concept of the priesthood of all believers. Clearly, it is not the pastor's calling to do the work of the ministry single-handedly. Rather, as noted earlier, the pastor is called to "prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature" (Eph. 4:12-13).

It is my prayer that the acronym G-O-D will serve to remind you of the basic aspects of a healthy, well-balanced church: a church in which God is worshiped, in which we enjoy oneness in fellowship, and from which we can go out to make disciples of all nations. Indeed, as Peter put it, you are "a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" (1 Pet. 2:9).

This article is based on a portion of Hank Hanegraaff's best-selling book, Christianity in Crisis. We are pleased to announce that a Christianity in Crisis Study Guide is now available. See below.

Christianity in Crisis Study Guide
by Hank Hanegraaff

Hank's study guide will equip you to discern truth from error -- instantly. You'll survey a deadly collection of distorted teachings on faith, the nature of God, Christ's atonement, prosperity, sickness and suffering, and much more. The study will prepare you to effectively communicate the essentials of the Christian faith. CO-139/Price $6.00

End of document, CRN0074A.TXT (original CRI file name), "Ingredients for a Health Church" release A, July 31, 1994 R. Poll, CRI

A special note of thanks to Bob and Pat Hunter for their help in the preparation of this ASCII file for BBS circulation.

Copyright 1994 by the Christian Research Institute.

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