Church health is the result of balance. Balance occurs when you have a strategy and a structure to fulfill what I believe are the five New Testament purposes for the church: worship, evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, and ministry. If you don't have a strategy and a structure that intentionally balances the purposes of the church, the church tends to overemphasize the purpose the pastor feels most passionate about.

In evangelicalism, we tend to go to seed on one truth at a time. You attend one seminar and hear, "The key is seeker services." You go to another and "the key is small groups" or "discipleship" or "expository preaching." The fact is, they're all important. When a church emphasizes any one purpose to the neglect of others, that produces imbalance—it's unhealthy. It stunts a lot of churches.

To keep things balanced, four things must happen. You've got to move people into membership, build them up to maturity, train them for ministry, and send them out on their mission. We ...

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