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The Four Elements of Effective Churches

How About a New Way to Measure Healthy Effectiveness?

All healthy churches are characterized by four key traits: Integrity, Passion, Servanthood, and Imagination. While different churches will be stronger in some of these than others, all must be present and effectively balanced.

Integrity means that systems and processes all function to achieve the church’s goals. A church with integrity has a clear sense of purpose and maintains systems that leverage resources toward fulfillment of its mission. What we do is in line with what we say, and what we say is in line with what we truly value.

Passion means that people support the church’s mission. When a church has passion, the mission isn’t just on a poster in the lobby. People know it and invest their time, effort, and money in it. When disagreements arise, they relate to whether the mission is being accomplished. A widespread sense of ownership is evident in a passionate church.

Servanthood means that the church demonstrates outward focus. When a church is service-minded, energy is invested in meeting needs, not just in running the machine. We want to survive so we can reach more people, not for sake of surviving. Relationships are healthy because people put others before themselves.

Imagination means that the church can change to stay relevant. Imaginative churches can envision futures that differ from the way things have always been. They see the world changing around them and adapt to meet the real needs of today. People are open to new possibilities and innovation is rewarded.

All four of these elements—Integrity, Passion, Servanthood, and Imagination—will be evident in a healthy, growing church. Your church is likely stronger in some than others—maybe very strong in one and very weak in others. But all must be present and, as much as possible, the four must be balanced.

Questions For Your Team: Which of these four elements is strongest in your church? Which is weakest? How could you strengthen your weakest element?

Tom Thatcher | Elemental Churches

For an indepth look at each of these elements, go to here to download the free pdf: The 4 Elements of Healthy Churches.


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