Healthy Gospel Church Characteristics: Healthy Preaching

Free Church of Scotland CEO Andrew Giffen introduces a discussion about Healthy Preaching as part of a video and discussion series looking at seven characteristics of Healthy Gospel Churches.

The vision of the Free Church is of A Healthy Gospel Church for Every Community in Scotland.  But one of the questions that we get asked is “What is a healthy church?”

In this video and discussion series we are therefore looking at seven characteristics of healthy Christians and healthy churches – churches with Jesus Christ and the Christian gospel at their centre.

The first characteristic we are going to look at is Healthy Preaching.  Healthy preachingteaches people the truth proclaimed in God’s word the Bible.  It helps us recognise our need of salvation and the grace and forgiveness that have been extended to us in Jesus Christ.

Healthy preaching promotes the authority of God’s word and encourages us to live in accordance with the Bible’s teaching.  It shows us what obedience to God looks like in our world today, and how to better think and act in a way that pleases our Heavenly Father.  

Healthy gospel preaching is going to be important for healthy gospel churches.

As we work through these seven characteristics, we are going to give a few practical ideas under each area, realising though that you will probably have more ideas, or better ideas than these.   One of the things that is really good about the Healthy Church Vision is that it recognises the need for these characteristics to be worked out at a local level by local church leaders and members.  But here are a few ideas, perhaps to stimulate your thinking.

In the area of preaching, if we are going to be spiritually healthy Christians then it is important to be attending church regularly, preparing our hearts to listen, praying for the preaching, seeking out good teaching when we are listening to material online or at conferences.

For a healthy congregation it helps when ministers plan a sermon series or a teaching program that covers a range of Bible books.  It helps when there is good expository preaching that directs people to the Bible passage, explains what the verses mean, and suggests how they apply to our lives.  It is helpful for the denomination as a whole when ministers train others to preach and teach, and to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ through preaching the Word of God.  And it is good for those who are speaking to receive trusted feedback on their own preaching and to continue to improve.

We are very much hoping you will be able to have a conversation about each of these areas with others in your congregation – perhaps as part of a small group or leadership team.  The discussion guide asks each of us to think about “How might I grow in health in the area of listening to preaching?” and “How might my congregation grow in this characteristic of healthy preaching?”

Under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we want to see increasingly Healthy Christians, Healthy Congregations, and a Healthy Denomination.  A Healthy Gospel Church for Every Community in Scotland.