Rick Warren started Saddleback Church with one family. Today, the membership is 20,000, and the group is starting other churches all over the globe. In his book, The Purpose Driven Church, Warren describes five principles he relies on to build a healthy church. They come from Acts chapter 2. He names them: large evangelism, warm fellowship, deep discipleship, strong worship, and broad ministry or service. His book, The Purpose Driven Life, is based on the same five principles; it has sold millions of copies. Warren says, “the issue is church health, not church growth. If a church is healthy, it will grow naturally.” He believes “healthy, consistent growth is the result of balancing the five biblical purposes of the church.” We read in Acts 2 that after Peter preached that strong evangelistic sermon urging people to turn from sin and turn to Jesus Christ, 3000 people believed and responded to his invitation. After Peter preached, the leaders diligently taught new believers the Scriptures, led them to dialogue and share stories with each other, and led them in worship and prayer. People then exercised their spiritual gifts to serve one another. God honored these activities by causing the church to grow. While there may be other ways to build healthy churches, this approach is worth considering.
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