Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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A Church Check-up

  • Jim Townsley
  • Sep 19, 2018

As people age they believe it is wise to regularly get a medical check-up. The purpose of a check-up is to solve problems before they become more serious and to prevent problems before they occur. A church check-up can also serve a very profitable purpose after a new church gets established. Undoubtedly problems will develop and hopefully they can be identified early and be corrected quickly before they become more serious.

A church check-up can be approached in two ways.The first way is to self-evaluate your ministry on a regular basis. Introspection and evaluation of your ministry is a must. Failure to evaluate and examine your church will result in bad habits being developed and the effectiveness of your work will be limited. Regular evaluations of what you do and how you do it will help you identify ways to help your church grow and become strong. One way to personally evaluate your ministry is to consider yourself a visitor and come to church as if it was your first time. What do you notice about the meeting place? Does it look like a church? Is it clean? Is it easy to determine where to go? Does Sunday school and church start on time? Are people friendly? Is there a good spirit in the church? I’m sure there are numerous other considerations that deserve evaluation and will increase the effectiveness of your ministry.

The second way to evaluate your ministry is to utilize professional help from an experienced pastor.An independent voice will prove to be invaluable to receive an honest outside and independent view of your church. Sadly, not all preachers are willing to listen to the counsel of other men and this reservation limits the effectiveness of their ministry. Sometimes preachers are fearful that an outside review may result in the need to make changes while others are embarrassed by dumb mistakes they have made in the past. Every preacher has made his share of dumb mistakes. But the desire to improve oneself and increase the effectiveness of the church requires a willingness to expose yourself to professional scrutiny.

Where would you find professional help to review your ministry? There are probably more resources than you realize. Visiting preachers and missionaries are an obvious choice. When special speakers come to your church seek their advice and counsel. Many times preachers hesitate to make suggestions unless they feel the pastor is open to it. Not all men will have suggestions but many will offer great advice when asked. Another obvious resource is neighboring pastor friends. Don’t be afraid to get on the phone and call these men for advice because they can be a great resource as an independent counsel.

Although I am not aware of many preachers available who have a ministry of evaluating and helping young men in the ministry I believe there are a few. Having an experienced pastor visit your church for the sole purpose of reviewing your ministry and making suggestions would prove to be invaluable to many young men in the ministry. It would be a blessing if an older pastor developed a ministry to visit a young church for a week and evaluate every aspect of it.

If an older pastor came to evaluate a new church here’s what they might examine.

1. Financial protocols. How is the money collected, counted and deposited? Are there safeguards to protect the offerings? Who has access to the check book? Who determines what bills are paid? Are there outstanding debts? Is money borrowed? What are the terms of any loans or mortgages? Is there a budget and is it being followed? Does the pastor have a limit of how much he can spend at his discretion? Are the finances being reviewed or audited yearly? Are tithing envelopes used?

2. Church records. Is there a data base of members and visitors? Where are these records stored? Who records the minutes of the business meetings and where are they stored. How often are business meetings held? Are attendance records kept? Does the constitution need updated? Is the Sunday bulletin attractive and informative?

3. Church Outreach. Is there a soul-winning and visitation program? Are flyers utilized? Does the church have a church brochure? Is electronic media being used? Are the local media announcements being used? Are special days planned for Sunday school and church? Is the church growing? What curriculum is being used for Sunday school? Is there a missions program? Are there children and teen activities?

4. The pastor’s personal and family life. Is his family supportive of the ministry? Is his wife involved? Are his children obedient? Does he have personal devotions? Are there family devotions? Does the pastor have a day off to spend with his family? Is there a yearly vacation? Is the pastor in good health? Is the pastor’s appearance professional and appropriate? Does the pastor attend any conferences or seminars? Is the pastor’s library growing and sufficient?

5. Church services. Are the services alive? Is the song leader enthusiastic? Are people friendly? Are traditional songs being used? Do people bring their Bibles to church? Is the church clean? Do the services move along? Are personal workers trained? Are the sermons biblical and uplifting? Is the working of the Holy Spirit evident?

6. Awareness of modern trends and doctrines. Is the pastor aware of the dangers Calvinism, contemporary music, the emerging church and even trends in our fundamental movement? Is the pastor remaining by the old paths that are tried and proven?

There are many additional suggestions and ideas that can help to grow and strengthen the pastor’s life and his church if he is willing to learn from the experience of other godly men. An honest evaluation can reap great dividends!