• Welcome
    The mission of building up the church of Christ motivates us to bring hope, help and healing to churches and clergy.
  • Growth
    All gardeners know that growth is the natural result of a healthy garden or plant. All plants and all gardens have a growth agenda that permeates all they do. Some growth is “up and out”, some is “down and in”. Growth permeates every aspect of a healthy church. Bearing fruit is in the DNA of any plant. The fruit is the proof of the plant’s health, as propagation is at the heart of God’s design for all living things.
  • Seasons
    The power of the seasons is never far from the mind of the gardener. At the heart of any issue or project in the garden lies a central question: what season is it? In churches, our lack of understanding of life cycle seasons may blind us to deeper causes than what the prevailing symptoms may suggest.
  • Good Soil
    Healthy soil is a prerequisite to healthy plants. Gardeners spend much energy and expense to amend and improve the soil of their gardens. Doing so creates an environment conducive to vibrant growth.
  • Setting
    Context matters. Plants that may thrive in a rain forest die quickly in the desert, and vice versa. Each plant adapts to its environment and either finds a way to survive and thrive, or it must be moved to a setting more congruent with its DNA. Healthy churches are students of their setting and context.
  • Patience
    Gardens require patience, and gardeners eventually learn to trust the plants and environment to produce the growth, fruit and beauty they so desire. Some things in a garden cannot be rushed, and to attempt to do so ensures failure. Mature discipleship and effective ministry is a time-consuming, long-lasting process. There are no shortcuts.
  • Care
    Vibrant and productive gardens emerge when well-cared for. The gardener knows that their role is that of caretaker, and that role is pivotal for the long-term health of the garden.
  • Interdependence
    Plants do not live in a vacuum. The mixed ecology of plant life means that the health of a garden or plant is interdependent in relationship to other plants, insects, context, weather, and a host of other factors. Churches and clergy live out their calling in the context of a specific time and place. They partner and collaborate with a multitude of others in order to accomplish their unique Kingdom agenda.
  • Design/Vision
    A beautiful garden emerges from someone’s dream translated into a plan, followed by an implementation process. So too with churches. Clarity about the founding dream and design of a church is essential if a church is to be healthy
  • Rooted
    Roots matter to a plant. Roots matter to a church. Roots matter to a Christian. Gardeners know that the root health is paramount. What is hidden from view often determines whether a plant will flourish. Gardeners feed the roots of plants, taking great care to protect those roots. Healthy churches pay attention to the part of their life that is hidden from view. What happens in the hidden hearts of their leaders and their participants often determines what is seen in public.

Welcome to the web site of The Center for Healthy Churches. Birthed out of the rich tradition of pastoral care, and informed by years of experience and success in local churches, the Center makes available to churches and clergy a wide array of ministries and services. Our team believes that local churches can and should be sources of life and light to their communities. The mission of building up the church of Christ motivates us to bring hope, help and healing to churches and clergy. Please explore our site and contact us if we can be of service to you.


CHC is devoted to improving the spiritual, emotional and organizational health of churches and ministers. We bring hope, help and healing in the spirit of Christ.


Through congregational coaching and consulting, CHC helps churches and clergy experience spiritual discernment and guidance as they seek to be faithful to their call.

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

Services Offered

  • Congregational Coaching/Consulting
  • Individual Coaching
  • Denominational/Judicatory Consulting
  • Speaking, Preaching, Workshops, Educational Events

CHC News

The Center for Healthy Churches is pleased to announce that Dr. David Hull will assume the role of Coordinator for The Center for Healthy Churches-Southeast. His primary focus will be to coordinate services to and among the churches and clergy of Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Hull has served as pastor of First Baptist, Huntsville AL since 2002. Prior to that he pastored First Baptist, Knoxville TN and churches in South Carolina, North Carolina and Kentucky. His wife, Jane, is pastor at Union Christian Church in Watkinsville GA.

Earlier this year, CHC announced the formation of The Center for Healthy Churches-Virginia. Dr. Travis Collins is the Coordinator for that Center. Additional regional Centers are planned and will be announced in the near future.

To read the full press release, click here.

From the Blog

Lessons Learned from my Return to the Pastorate

Ronnie Brewer is the pastor of FBC Bristol, VA. Bill Wilson recently asked me to reflect on my transition last summer from denominational work back to the pastoate, when I became the pastor of First Baptist Church, Bristol, Virginia. Particularly, to reflect on the experience of joini
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Lessons Learned on the Road to Church Health

EDITOR’S NOTE: Five years ago, Amy and Russ Dean invited me to come alongside their church for a season of strategic visioning. I recently asked them to reflect on the ensuing years and what they have learned in the process. -Bill Wilson by Russ Dean In the summer of 2009, after a ric
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Flipping Orthodoxies

By Mike Queen Consultant with The Center for Healthy Churches Every organization, including our churches, has deeply held beliefs about ‘how things are done around here’. Larry Keeley of the Doblin division of Deloitte Consulting calls these deeply held beliefs ‘orthodoxies’. He defin
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The Tears We Need to Shed

As a pastor, I’ve seen my share of tears. They show up in so many places: in hospitals, especially in emergency rooms, at funeral homes, in the office, in the delivery room, at the altar, during worship, while talking quietly in a home. Some days they are predictable and expected, som
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Cultivating a Healthy Staff Culture

Christianity is built on relationships. Our relationship with God. Our relationships with one another. Jesus taught us that in what he said and how he lived. As ministers on a church staff, one of the most important things we can do is to model healthy relationships, particularly with
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Martyrdom is for Real Martyrs

I overheard a conversation on a plane recently that re-taught me an important truth about congregational ministry. It was on a Monday morning at the end of a flight out of Atlanta to another city. Regular travelers know that Monday morning flights out of Atlanta are often dominated by
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A Lesson from a Duel between the Sun and the Wind

When I was a little boy, my mom told me the fable of a contest between the sun and the wind. They were arguing about which of the two was the stronger, when along walked a man wearing a coat. The wind challenged the sun by saying, “I’ll bet I can get his coat off him quicker than you
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Guide to Building a High Trust Leadership Culture

Some of the very best days I have known in ministry have revolved around high-functioning staff friendships and relationships. Seeing plans come together, an organization take off, or a worship experience exceed expectations is meaningful beyond words. Some of the hardest days in my l
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Understanding Church Microclimates

The weather during July in San Francisco is best described by a quote mistakenly attributed to Mark Twain: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” Tourists clad in t-shirts and shorts shivering in the summer fog that blankets the city are proof of this adage.
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