So what creates a healthy church?
Many factors, but outward focus is non-negotiable.
It’s a bit of a paradox, but an outwardly focused church ultimately creates the healthiest insiders.
Why is that?
An inherent part of the Christian faith is death to self. And that also means death to selfish preferences.
In an insider-focused church, no one sacrifices anything for the sake of others, because people believe others ought to sacrifice to please them.
If the church exists to make you happy, why wouldn’t people sacrifice more to make you happier?
In outsider-focused churches, the opposite is true.
Insiders sacrifice for the sake of outsiders. They realize that when they give, others live. That when they decide the church isn’t about them, they find a joy that is so elusive to selfish people.
Externally focused churches realize that sacrifice for the sake of others is a pathway to joy.
When you die to yourself, something greater rises.