A Church That Reflects God’s Character


The Church’s Pursuit of Health: Part 1


By Jason Finley, Lead Pastor of Equipping

What do you look for in a church? Would you say the ideal church is a place with:

  • Moving, modern worship music? Or music performed by a well-rehearsed orchestra?
  • Relevant sermons to your life? Or more “meaty” sermons that are deeply steeped in Bible and theology?
  • Lots of people in your season of life who share your interests or aspirations?


Maybe it’s a church that’s missions-oriented? Family-oriented? Passionate? Reverent? Growing? Service-minded? 

The reality is that none of these characteristics are bad. In fact, many of them are good and wise to consider as you look for a church home. 

The problem arises, however, when one or more of these traits become the driving objective of your search or the church’s efforts. When that happens, even the most well-intended church will begin to compromise what God has created and called the church to be.  

We must continually remind ourselves of God’s desire for the church, lest we drift from God’s priorities to reflect our personal preferences. One way we pursue such intentional reminding here at Crosspoint is by borrowing and rehearsing language from Mark Dever. More than a church known for beautiful music, relevant sermons, or shared hobbies, we seek to be a healthy church. 

A Healthy Church

Evaluating the aspiration of our church has never been more important. Christians live in an increasingly hostile culture. Christians’ public influence is ever-weakening. (1) 

In response, an array of “church growth” models are promoted as “the answer” to the decline of the church in America.

Rather than promoting a new model, Mark Dever argues that churches that are increasingly un-like the world are the ones that will exhibit the greatest kingdom impact and bring the greatest glory to God. 

Dever appeals that we should focus NOT on growth or missions or families, but on resembling the priorities of the Bible. As churches generally exhibit the Bible’s priorities, they will be healthy. In his book, What is a Healthy Church?, Dever describes a healthy church as a church, “that increasingly reflects God‘s character as His character has been revealed in his Word.” (2) 

In this blog series, we will take a closer look at four characteristics of a healthy church. While much more could be said, these four are particularly distinct and often missing in churches in the American South. 

A healthy church: 

    1. Feeds on the Word
    2. Is Faithful toward the Lost
    3. Is Formed as Family
    4. Follows Jesus Together


By God’s grace, I pray that Crosspoint Church in Clemson, SC will be known by these four characteristics, not because they’re in a book by a prominent pastor, but because the elders and I are convinced they represent faithfulness to the Scriptures and God’s heart for the church.  

In our next post, we’ll explore the idea that a healthy church feeds on the Word through expositional preaching. 

Jason Finley is the Lead Pastor for Equipping at Crosspoint. He gives oversight to worship services and preaching as well as our EQUIP teaching strategy. Jason met his wife, Cayce, as a student at Clemson and they married June 3, 2001. They have two daughters: Reese (2003) and Anna (2010) and four sons: Will, (2005), Stuart & Clark (2006), and Nathan (2011).

(1)  Inspiration for this series comes from What is a Healthy Church? by Mark Dever (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2007) and resources through 9Marks Ministries (www.9marks.org).

(2) Dever, What is a Healthy Church?, 40.