Warren Bennis, once said that the health of any organization or business can be discovered by answering two simple questions: “What business are we in?” and “How’s business?” Put to that test, it is not difficult to see that many churches are not as healthy as they once were. But I believe the problem is the loss of focus on the first question: “What business are we in?”
Jesus defined “business” very clearly for his followers: “You did not choose me, I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, fruit that will last.” The real measure of church health is the evidence of fruit. The New Testament cites three specific kinds of fruit.
- Presentation of our lives: By their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew 6:17-20)
- Progress in our lives: But the fruit of the Spirit is love… (Galatians 5:22-23)
- People connected to Jesus’ life: The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. (John 4:36)
By counting the fruit in these baskets at your church how would you answer the “how’s business?” question?
At The Orchard one of our aims is that for every Sunday of the year (52) and every ministry area of our church (currently 34) we should have one conversion or baptism for a total of 86. We believe that mark is one of minimal fruitfulness—and Jesus calls us to great fruitfulness (John 15:8).
The mark of a healthy church is fruit, lasting fruit, abundant fruit, Kingdom fruit. Jesus defined our business. How’s business?