Gauging the spiritual health of your congregation can be a tricky business. How, after all, does one measure such ambiguous behaviors as “joyful giving” and “worshipping in spirit and in truth”? Strong participation in communion, for instance, may seem promising—but hey, sometimes a 45-minute sermon just works up an appetite.

Thankfully, there is one rule that reliably marks a healthy body of believers: the more committees, boards, and task forces, the better. When it comes to signs of an internal salvific faith, robust participation in church committees is second only to baptism. As the Good Book says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples: when your committees outnumber the stars.”

You might think your church is set in the bureaucracy department (because it actually has one), but odds are you could use a boost. Here, then, are five committees that you’ll need if you want to run a tight, efficient, sustainable disciple-producing operation:

Church Committee Nominating Committee: The Genesis 1 of church committees, the beginning of all things, this committee nominates the members for every other committee. No one knows what, if anything, existed before; it simply always has been, and always will be. Like the Trinity, this group is an unknowable divine mystery, yet central to our faith. Its chairman is probably named some variation of “Bob.”

Palm Branch Search Committee: The palm branches that the five-year-olds in your children’s ministry wave around maniacally (right before ingesting them) are the result of a year’s worth of faithful dedication on the part of the Palm Branch Search Committee. Members meet once a week (twice a week during ...

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