Editorial by Rick Remmers
During the past few months, the Chesapeake Conference has pursued a process of dialogue with members, pastors and educators resulting in the executive committee approving an updated strategic plan: Our Vision—Fulfilling the Great Commission through vibrant, healthy churches and schools.
So, what does a healthy church look like? Well, when it comes to our physical health, most of us are familiar with the eight natural remedies: nutrition, exercise, water, sunshine, temperance, fresh air, rest and trust in God. What if we were to adapt these principles to the church?
A healthy church would be fed by a nutritious diet—Jesus, the Bread of Life, and His Word—as the foundation of faith and practice. Exercise would come in the form of active member involvement in service, ministry and witness. People would maintain spiritual fitness as they ministered to others.
Everyone who came into the church would be washed clean by the waters of baptism and renewing their commitment to Jesus through the communion service, including the foot washing. Sunshine would brighten every worship service and event, and Jesus, the Light of the World, would radiate in the lives of members and shine out into the community.
Temperance would come naturally, as members would abstain from criticism, backbiting and divisive movements. The fresh air of the Holy Spirit would gently blow through each service and ministry, bringing joy, hope and peace in its wake. Everyone who attended would find rest, knowing their salvation was secure in Jesus and they could commemorate His creative and redemptive power each Sabbath.
Finally, trust in God would allow them to move forward boldly in fulfilling the gospel commission and inviting others to enjoy their sweet fellowship and great hope.
Rick Remmers serves as president of the Chesapeake Conference