Nine habits or characteristics of healthy and fruitful churches

What do thriving churches have in common with each other?

George Barna is a researcher who studies the religious beliefs and behavior of Americans, including the intersection of faith and culture. He was executive direction of the American Culture & Faith Institute. He also served as the president of Metaformation, a faith development organization.

Barna has written more than 50 books, mostly addressing cultural trends, leadership, spiritual development, and the dynamics affecting local churches. After graduating from Boston College, Barna earned two Master's degrees from Rutgers University and has a doctorate from Dallas Baptist University. Here is what he had to say about the things that characterize many effective churches:

  1. Highly effective churches rely upon strategic leadership.
  2. Highly effective churches are organized to facilitate highly effective ministry.
  3. Highly effective churches emphasize developing significant relationships within the congregation.
  4. Highly effective churches invest themselves in genuine worship.
  5. Highly effective churches engage in strategic evangelism.
  6. Highly effective churches get people involved in systematic theological growth.
  7. Highly effective churches promote and utilize holistic stewardship practices.
  8. Highly effective churches serve the needy people in their community.
  9. Highly effective churches equip families to minister to themselves. Healthy families provide the context for church health.

George Barna. The Habits of Highly Effective Churches: How to Have a Ministry That Transforms Lives.

    -- Howard Culbertson,

Church Growth course resources:    Assimilation analysis    Leadership survey    Programs survey    Sample graph analysis    Church planting steps     Conversion age     Devotional reflections    Exam study guides    Identifying receptive people     PowerPoint presentations used in class     Why do pastors resign?     Course syllabus   Testing contextualization    Case study: When trust in a pastor erodes

10/40 Window explanation and map     Seeking God's will?     Commitment: African martyr     Mission trip fundraising    Ten ways to ruin mission trips