The best things in life do not come in a hurry. They take time. But in the end you will realize they are worth the investment.

Healthy Marriages take time, but they are worth the investment.

Healthy Families, whether both parents are in the home or you are a single parent raising your children to the best of your ability, takes time, but it’s worth the investment.

Healthy Churches are no different! It takes time to build a healthy church environment made up of healthy church members, but the investment is worth it!

Sometimes it seems like everyone is leaving the church. But that is not the case.

While we have a right to be concerned about church-hoppers and church-droppers, we must never forget that there is always a core group of faithful people at the heart of every healthy congregation, and because of them, our lives and our churches are better because.

Here are just a few benefits of staying put in a congregation through the good times and bad and becoming a long-term church member:

  • You develop deeper relationships

While it’s always nice to meet new people, there’s nothing like knowing and growing with a group of people over a lifetime, or a major segment of your lifetime.

There are so many life lessons that simply take time to learn. No matter how smart we are or how hard we work, nothing can replace living life with people who know, love and watch out for each other year after year and decade after decade.

  • You are less likely to repeat the same cycles over and over

If we move from church to church we can stay spiritually stuck and not know it. Everything around us has changed, so we get the idea that we don’t have to.

There are no shortcuts to deep relationships. You have to put in the time.

It may feel like we are growing deeper, but we may be doing nothing but repeating the same cycles in a new environment. And there is no one in that new church who’s known us long enough to spot it, call us out, or help us get past it.

Some of the people I most admire are the church members that I’ve watched grow deeper, wiser, stronger and healthier little by little, year after year. And that was only possible because THEY STAYED PUT — THEY BLOOMED WHERE THEY WERE PLANTED — THEY COMMITTED LONG-TERM!

  • You can be part of the foundation that others build on

Every church needs a foundation to build on. But it’s hard to do that when the ground either grows hard (through stubbornness) or keeps shifting (through constant coming and going).

One of the reasons we honor the giants of the faith who came before us is because they laid a foundation when they encouraged, supported and even funded our new, crazy ideas. We honor them when we do the same for those who come after us.

  • You can be a great champion for stability

When we stick around a while, we can become the glue that helps bridge that divide. 

The youth of today become the elders of tomorrow, therefore it is essential to our future that each generation makes a long-term commitment to the church and become champions for stability. 

  • You can help a healthy church become healthier

The strongest, healthiest churches are the ones that have been around a while, have learned the hard lessons over time, and have stayed faithful to Biblical Essentials. 

That CANNOT happen when there are no long-timers around.

When a healthy church has a mix of newcomers and long-time members all working together for a common vision of the future…GREAT THINGS are in store.

  • You can spot and help fix problems before they get too big

There is no substitute for the eyes of wisdom and experience!

If you’ve been around a while and are paying attention, you are often able to spot potential problems that the younger, newer church members might not see.

Yes, there will always be stubborn and unhappy people  who see problems with everything, and there will always be flighty young people who ignore the sound advice and wisdom of their elders, but that does NOT have to be the norm.

  • You get to see and participate in generational progress

We hear a lot about churches that have grown from small to big in a short period of time. But those churches are few and far between.

The typical church grows slowly and steadily. Over decades, NOT in a couple of years.

If you will invest a lifetime into a healthy church, you will get to see a depth of growth that church-hoppers and church-droppers will ever have the chance to experience and appreciate.

The best things in life don’t come in a hurry. They take time. But they’re worth the investment.

(Psalms 1:3 & Jeremiah 17:7-10)