The Healthy Church
By Lance Landall

From all-creatures.org
SPIRITUAL AND
INSPIRATIONAL
POETRY ARCHIVES

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The Healthy Church
By Lance Landall

The healthy church is a friendly church — it is loving and caring,
Though not self indulgent; nor legalistic and overbearing.
It’s supportive, it’s affirming, and it's also nurturing,
And it utilizes those talents that from converted lives spring.

Its friendliness, concern, and loving care is shared with everyone,
For it clearly knows that those of all faiths are children of the Son.
In fact, all are God’s creation — yes, even the non-believer,
Who when it comes to Christian love, should also be a receiver.

Although concerned about each member’s spiritual well-being,
Such is not the only thing that it is busy overseeing.
For it’s concerned about every need, anything that may impede,
Hence why it goes seeking — doesn’t just wait ’till it hears someone plead.

It also caters for special needs — cries from society heeds —
Thus caring not just for its own, but for all, thereby sowing seeds.
Yes, it’s humanitarian, it’s green, its stewardship is seen,
For it cares for all God’s creation, and rights will not contravene.

If a member stops attending because he or she is upset,
The healthy church takes such seriously, lest it aid and abet.
Regardless of who is at fault, and without apportioning blame,
It seeks out the one who's upset, lest all be engulfed by the shame.

Yes, it quickly immobilizes, seeking to heal and restore,
Knowing that a healthy church doesn't have a swinging back door.
It attempts to right any wrong, and surrounds with its safety net,
And should the fault not be its own, it’s quick to forgive and forget.

Thus, the healthy church has a reconciliation committee,
Where any grievance is handled lovingly and impartially.
And where wisdom, fairness and sound biblical guidelines are foremost,
And the best interests of both parties certainly uppermost.

For those who're emotionally challenged, anxious or afraid —
And including the inarticulate — some concessions are made.
Such as: Someone can speak on their behalf — that is, stand in their place,
Or simply be there for them, when that committee they have to face.

And the healthy church treats the minority just as thoughtfully,
Thus considering quality more important than quantity.
And its desire to serve is far greater than its desire to lead,
Thus on behalf of any member it is quick to intercede.

Within the healthy church — class, race, cliques and ego — don't play a part,
And nor does nepotism or cronyism the church affairs chart.
Its leader doesn’t surround himself with "Yes" men, and nor dictate,
But rather, Christ’s humbleness and transparency seeks to emulate.

The healthy church also encourages healthy open debate,
Hence why those who hold differing views it doesn't alienate.
And hence why its affairs it invites members to investigate,
For it doesn’t mislead, bear false witness, nor from truth deviate.

This church generates security, stability and respect
Via loving discipline, order and balance, that seeks to protect.
And also via responsible and very worthy leadership,
Rightful worship, sound teaching, that seeks to guide, instruct and equip.

It cares for God’s premises — His house, the building — where Christians meet,
That is, their worship centre that they take pride in, and not ill-treat.
And thereby, they show their love for God, protecting and respecting
This outward Christian symbol where they come to meet their Lord and King.

This building that has been set apart is cleaned, repaired and showcased —
Though modestly so — and its inner sanctum is never debased.
There, respect for holy things is tangibly, practically, learned,
For the healthy church has a healthy attitude where the sacred’s concerned.

And also where its health is concerned, and that being, one's own body,
For our body's considered God’s temple also — biblically.
And therefore, the healthy church looks after its own body also,
Lest it disappoint its Lord, and the seeds of ill health quickly sow.

And because body and mind are linked, it also guards the mind too,
Vetting whatever it allows in, letting the Spirit renew.
Yes, it shuns anything that may harm both the body and the mind,
Knowing that whatever harms, the old devil is always behind.

The healthy church is one that's very actively committed to
The good and eternal well-being of all — member, Gentile or Jew.
Yes, it’s a beacon on a hill, a mouthpiece for its Architect;
It’s visible, audible, appeals to the heart and intellect.

Yes, the healthy church has a mission — hence why it’s extroverted,
Thus informing not just its own, but also the unconverted.
Hence why its own backyard is tidy, conveys no contradiction,
And why via its living connection it speaks with such conviction.

It loves unconditionally, its good deeds are legendary,
It follows God faithfully, obeying and working willingly.
It is marked by its unity, its witness bears testimony,
For its focus is heavenly, and its practice in harmony.

The healthy church is not an organization, but a people,
Who simply gather together under an appointed steeple.
Yes, it's an organized body, (but not an organization),
Who look to Jesus, not man — to grace, not works — for their salvation.

The healthy church doesn’t seek the States support but trusts in its Lord,
It knowing that any religion that turns to the State is flawed.
The healthy church runs its own affairs, isn’t wedded to the State,
For such would make it unwell, and effectively would seal its fate.

Yes, the healthy church has Jesus as its head, and never any man,
For putting a man in charge is folly — such was never God’s plan.
Therefore, the only kingdom that the healthy church puts its trust in,
Is Christ’s coming kingdom — a Divine kingdom — one that's free of sin.

No, the healthy church does not turn to Egypt or to Babylon,
And any man, or any men, nor human plans, does not lean upon.
No, it’s not a political animal, nor an activist,
Thus, it does not legislate, police, push, pull, dictate, insist.

Although a light and a voice, it knows its place, and won’t cross the line,
Lest it become intoxicated, besotted, and thus decline.
The healthy church is very healthy because it remains apart,
Thus only letting the Master Physician its healthiness chart.