Ongoing reflections on Warren, R (2004) The Healthy Churches' Handbook and its 7 marks of health...
The first mark of health to consider is what it is to be energised by faith. While it seems a little obvious on a first read through, the more I thought of it, the more challenging it became.
Robert Warren sees being energised by faith to be foundational for healthy churches."At the heart of these churches and their members is a reality about their awareness of the presence, goodness and love of God. Faith is the fuel on which these churches run." Warren, R (2004) The Healthy Churches' Handbook. Church House Publishing
The recognition is that a strong sense of church identity stems from 'knowing' the reality of God's love, experiencing it through a worship shaped by Christlike living. This is all about a motivation that embodies the Great Commandment, love for God and neighbour.
The danger comes from when that motivation is knocked, and a church finds its identity in either what it seeks to portray of itself, or a blind survival maintenance that comes from just keeping things going. A church energised by faith notices both its need to be seen as significant and any insecurities of perceived failure. A church energised by faith knows what it is to reflect theologically and feels the friction when it is not shaped by the values of the kingdom.
It seems that energised by faith is about maturity and growth, and about relaxing into a church life shaped by love and goodness.