There are some well used phrases which are treated as conventional wisdom. One of them is that ‘healthy things grow‘. Of course, there is truth in this – but it’s not the whole picture. It is also true to say that unhealthy things grow too. Question is, when a church is developing, is it’s progress healthy, or harmful to people’s lives? After all, both healthy and unhealthy things grow.
This is why it is important for leaders to create healthiness in church life, a process which necessitates the avoidance of lofty aloofness, and a solid determination to remain firmly grounded on terra firma instead. Here, its a lot less glamorous and far more messy. But wise leaders get their hands dirty because they know only too well that life killing weeds grow fast in the soil. So it is imperative to uproot them, a process which requires gritty persistence. It’s the only way healthy growth can truly take place.
When we first planted the Junction Church, we were clear in our minds that our remit was not to build a big church. Our focus was on growing big people. Its encouraging to see what has happened since. We’ve worked hard to create an environment which is conducive to vitality and where giants of the faith can emerge. We’ve also toiled ceaselessly to protect against the weeds of cynicism, negativism and unbelief. We’ve a long way to go…but the future is looking really good.
When bad habits become the norm, then harmful culture creeps in. Yes, growth will happen….but the wrong kind. It is only when the soil of church life is wholesome that healthy growth occurs. It takes work. It needs patience. It requires intentionality rather than mere intent. But it’s always better to go for health. That’s where people truly flourish.