Bill Campbell

Thoughts of Life and Ministry


Those who know me are aware that I have made a lifelong commitment to reflection, teaching, and writing in the area of church health. A great deal of my thought and deliberation are spent in this arena.

Repeatedly I’m asked, BUT WHY?? WHY does this issue consume you? Occupy lots of your time and attention? Is it something you enjoy pursuing intellectually? Is it simply your hobby? Something you’ve become unnaturally radical about? In short, have you become an addict to this pursuit of church health thinking?

I do not resent these questions. Not at all. Nor do I wish to sidestep them. Ignore them. Pretend they’re not important. Those who question in these ways are sincere. Genuine. Because there is indeed a danger that one can become overbalanced in a specific area.

In response, allow me to ask a question of my own: Is it possible that those in the medical field can do too much research in regard to the human body? Is all their research, thought and reflection, really all that necessary? All that important? The answer to such questions depends on how much weight one attaches to bodily health and well-being.

  • Is it wrong, for example, to pursue answers to identify a cure for cancer?
  • Seek understanding for effectively addressing serious heart related illnesses?
  • Find improved ways of more effectively living with the growing problem of diabetes?

I think I already know what answer you are going to give. “Continued medical research,” you would insist, “is vital. Crucial.” For if we fail to responsibly address such bodily health issues, our continued livlihood is at risk. We might as well say: “Turn out the lights, for the party here on earth is about over.”

My medical lecture has ended. Yet, it is but a window through which one is enabled to see an even more serious health risk. Not an earthly health risk, mind you, but an eternal one. For you need to see the church from the perspective of a body. Why? Because the Apostle Paul often uses this analogy in his New Testament documents, when he is writing about the church.

As a body, the church has as its Head, Christ Jesus. And those who comprise the church, its human members, complete its earthly form. When functioning as Christ’s body, the church has a three-fold mission to execute: to glorify God; to assist and encourage one another; and to become an arm of outreach to the world. If the church is not functional in these important ways, it has become a serious spiritual health hazard on earth. It is hurting more than it is helping. And it is more dys-functional than it is functional.

The physical body will never be perfect here on earth. Never. Nor will the spiritual body, the church, ever be a perfect organism while here on earth. But through thought, reflection, research and attention, both bodies can become much better. Remarkably improved.

My goal as a church health practitioner, is to enable congregations to become much more healthy in function, and much less dys-functional in their life and ministry. Why again? Because enjoying eternity with God will depend on it. Nothing is more important here on earth than that of having healthy Christians and congregations that help prepare persons for eternity!

Thus, Rick Warren was absolutely correct when he insisted that the important issue in the 21st century will be church health, not church growth!!


January 11, 2012 - Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Heaven, Outreach, Relationships, Salvation, Scripture, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality

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