How do you measure the spiritual health of a community?
Is the spiritual health of a community important? You better believe it is important. It is immensely important and impacts everything else.
If I were going to measure and gauge your physical health, that would be easy enough. There are specified ways to do it. We would take your vital signs, do a physical exam, and then do some diagnostic tests, including blood work. After all the results were in, we would have a much better understanding of your physical health.
If I were going to measure your mental/emotional health, I would talk with you, and I would administer certain questionnaires, and inventories to help better (and more objectively) assess your mental health. I may even speak with other people (family/friends) about your mental/emotional health and get their perspective.
What if I were going to measure your financial health? Is there a good way to do that? Sure there is. We would examine your bank and credit card statements. We would evaluate your income and your outflow. We would look at savings, investments, and retirement planning.
There are easy ways to assess the “health” of all of these matters. Even though there are easy ways to assess them, it is not always easy to get people to cooperate with the assessment!
The same is true of your spiritual health. There are very good ways to assess spiritual health, but getting people to be concerned enough and honest enough to engage in this evaluation is difficult. The spiritual health of a community is directly tied to the spiritual health of its individual citizenry.
Jesus was an expert at assessing the health of individuals, churches, and communities. Listen to his observations and conclusions about several cities in his own day.
Matthew 11:20–24 - Chorazin, Bethsaida, Tyre, Sidon, Capernaum, Sodom
20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
Matthew 23:34–39 - Jerusalem
34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
What would Jesus say about our community?
How would you describe the spiritual health of our community?
Write to me and let me know what you think.
New Haven Baptist Church
247 Dot Johnson Drive
Summerville, GA 30747
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join me next week as we explore this matter of a community’s spiritual health more fully.