What Makes a Church Healthy?


By. John MacArthur

“Our Lord wants a healthy church, a church that is taught healthy doctrine and called to healthy spiritual behavior…He wants a pure church. He wants a chaste virgin. He wants a holy spotless bride.

What then makes a church healthy? Holy living…the fruit of healthy doctrine. I can’t emphasize this enough because there are so many options being offered today in building a church. What the Lord wants has nothing to do with the size of a church, what He wants has to do with the virtue of a church, the character of the church. As I’ve said through the years, my job is to concentrate on the spiritual depth of the church and let God take care of the breadth of it. The size is not an issue to me. The character is. And what makes a healthy church is not how many programs it has or how much money it has or how big it is, what makes a healthy church is its holy character. And yet that’s very very infrequently ever even suggested today in the area of church growth. It’s just so very important to understand that the Lord is concerned about the quality of a church, not the size of it. The size of it is all bound up in His own sovereign purpose. And the size of it, I’ll go a step further and say, is directly related to the virtue of it. We’re continually told that if we want to build the church we’ve got to come up with technique, strategy, marketing savvy, etc., etc., etc. That does not concern the Lord. What concerns the Lord is the character of the church, the virtue, the godliness….the proper strategy for evangelization is not methodological, it is not some kind of strategy, it is not some kind of marketing technique. The way we reach the world is through virtue, godliness, holiness, purity of life that makes our faith believable, makes God’s Word believable.”

– John MacArthur
taken from: Sound Doctrine Backed by Sound Living, sermon delivered on January 31, 1993.