10 Signs Your Church is Unhealthy

10 Signs Your Church is Unhealthy

Recently, when an online magazine sent me an article on "5 signs you're part of an unhealthy church," I eagerly opened it. This subject is dear to my heart.

I am passionate about strong, healthy churches.

The writer's 5 signs were good, as far as they went. No argument with her. I did not leave a comment one way or the other in response.

What I felt, however, is that my experience seems to be of another nature from hers. Here are 10 signs I've seen in my experience of unhealthy churches...

1. Prayer, if offered at all, is a formality, an afterthought, a burden.

Recently, while spending a long weekend with a group of pastors and their wives at a retreat in Italy, I was struck by something strange. By the time I got up to speak, the service--by then a half-hour long--had experienced at least five prayers. The worship leader had followed a couple of songs with prayer, the presiding leader had prayed, and at least two more people with roles in the service had prayed. Each prayer had been spontaneous, heartfelt, and a joy. I knew then we were in for a rich time of Christian fellowship.

On the other hand, it pains me to remember the Sunday morning worship services where I was the guest preacher and noticed that by the time I stood to preach, not a single prayer--not one!--had been offered.

There is no more accurate indicator of a Christian's spirituality or a church's health than the vitality of our prayer life.