Leading churches

Measuring the Health of the Church

Partners with the President with Tom Nelson

If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that the Church is resilient. Ask any EFCA church pastor what ministry has been like and you’ll truly understand the struggles and the challenges, but you will also hear the triumphs of God’s grace. This isn’t the first time the Church showed resiliency. Throughout history, the Church’s resilience was revealed through war, economic instability, famine, persecution and many other challenges unique to each ministry context.   

Despite the obstacles placed before us, the people of God move forward, equipped with the power of prayer, the Holy Spirit and His Word. As one church family, the EFCA is on mission to glorify God by multiplying transformational churches among all people.   

But how can pastors, ministry leaders and the local church know if they’re healthy and effective in ministry through every season?  

 Over the past few decades local churches and pastors have developed in-depth systems and strategies to measure the health and effectiveness of their churches. Ministry effectiveness measurements provide valuable insight for pastors to lead, serve and care for their churches. 

In 2020, however, with the beginning of a pandemic, life rapidly changed for pastors and their communities, and we were presented with new challenges to care for the needs of the church. Amidst all of this, I listened as pastors and ministry leaders asked important questions about ministry effectiveness, church health and how, in this new day of ministry, we can think about strengthening the Church and making more disciples. 

Many pastors and ministry leaders—across the country and even in EFCA churches—reimagined the playbook and placed time, energy and resources into new systems and strategies to shepherd their churches. Through this, God provided new opportunities, like the blessing of increased accessibility to gospel ministries online. At the same time, pastors considered how their strategies overlooked deepening discipleship in their congregation, which created blind spots their measurements couldn’t fully detect.  

Which raises the larger question: In what ways should we measure church health and ministry effectiveness today, and how can we ensure that pastors and churches in the EFCA are flourishing for God's glory? 

To help me explore this question, I’m joined by Tom Nelson, pastor of Christ Community Church (EFCA) in Overland Park, Kansas, president of Made to Flourish and author of The Flourishing Pastor, in a special video where we discuss how we can determine the health of a church. I invite you to watch our interview below: 

Kevin Kompelien

President Emeritus, EFCA

Kevin Kompelien served as the president of the Evangelical Free Church of America from June 2015 until April 2024, and currently serves as the president of Trinity International University. He previously served more than 20 years as a local pastor in the EFCA and then nine years as international leader of the Africa division with EFCA ReachGlobal. He and his wife, Becky, are members of Hillside EFC in San Jose, California.

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