I don’t like going to doctors, however my wife talked me into participating in the Wellness Study at the Australasian Research Institute (ARI), Sydney Adventist Hospital. Most Australians die from lifestyle diseases but doctors still do not possess sensitive protocols to help them detect early developing disease. ARI is leading in this lifestyle medicine research. The ARI did a comprehensive test profile (blood, scans). Dr Ross Grant reviewed the results with Pam and I—thankfully we were very healthy in most lifestyle indicators but were challenged to make some changes in diet, sleep and exercise. The check-up was a real blessing. I thank God for the Adventist health message and the advantage it gives to those who follow it. [pullquote]
Churches, like humans, have health characteristics and from time to time need a check-up. Jesus gave a health report to seven churches in Asia Minor in the latter part of the first century. This church health report is recorded in Revelation 2 and 3. Besides knowing what is happening in the churches, Jesus is in or with the churches. He highlights the good things, points out the issues, gives solutions and promises a better future for those who overcome. As I read this recently I was reminded that the health of my local church is vital. The healthier my church is, more than likely the healthier a disciple of Jesus I will be. However, the healthier I am as a disciple of Jesus, the greater positive impact I can have on the health of the church. It goes both ways.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has instruments like Natural Church Development (NCD) that measure church health. Avondale College Seminary is working on an instrument to measure personal discipleship health.
Before Jesus returns I want to be a healthy disciple and contribute positively to my church—but to do this successfully may require a check-up.