ROADS – a Concept for Effective Church Life

ROADS  –  a Concept for Effective Church Life

By Dr Christopher Peppler – Lead Elder of Lonehill Village Church

So many people have produced books and systems about the dynamics of creating and sustaining a healthy church. One of the best I have encountered is Natural Church Development by Christian Schwarz. However, to get the full benefit of his ideas a church needs to undertake the survey and have the NCD people process and analyse the results. I would like to propose something simpler.

Many years ago the Holy Spirit led me into an appreciation of the key dynamics of church life that has served my local church well for more than two decades. I call the concept ROADS – Relationship, Outreach, Anointing, Doctrine, and Structure.

How the five dynamics relate to one another

Before I develop each of these dynamics, I need to comment on how they relate to each other as parts of a whole. All five dynamics need to be equally strong driving forces that energize the local church. If a church has great relationships both with God and its members, but gives little attention to outreach, then it will inevitably implode into a holy huddle. If it functions gloriously in the gifts and anointing of the Holy Spirit, but is light on sound doctrine, then it will most likely fly off into some form of charismania.  If it gives much attention to doctrine, but little energy to anointing, then it will probably calcify into some form of religious legalism. Even if a local church is strong on relationships, outreach, anointing, and sound doctrine, yet lacks biblical church structure, it is unlikely to be able to sustain itself over time or to reproduce itself in kind. All five dynamics are needed in equal measure for a church to be healthy and effective.

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