• 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.

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Services Offered

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

CHC News

The Virginia Baptist Mission Board (VBMB) and The Center for Healthy Churches are announcing a partnership, effective March 1st, to provide a much-needed ministry for churches in pastoral transitions. CHC will be invited to provide transition coaching and consulting to member churches, and to work with existing VBMB staff to enhance and broaden these services. We will also work closely with the VBMB and the Fresh Expressions movement to help congregations address the opportunities that surround them to become more engaged with a missional focus for ministry. Travis Collins, one of our Consultants, will be the “face” of CHC in Virginia, and will make good use of our other fine consultants and coaches. To read a message from CHC founder, Bill Wilson, go to “Partnering with Virginia Baptist Mission Board” and to read the press release from VBMB go to VBMB Special Edition.

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Events We Are Following

Impacting TOMORROW
A Non-Traditional 24-Hour Learning Experience That Can Deepen the Missional Impact of Your Church

  • May 16-17, 2014
  • Oakmont Baptist Church, Greenville, NC
  • More information and registration at www.cbfnc.org

Paper Churches in a Digital World
Conversations about congregations, social media and communicating in the age of the internet

  • Monday, May 19, 9 am – 4 pm
    Augusta Heights Baptist Church, Greenville, SC
  • Thursday, May 22, 9 am – 4 pm
    Providence Baptist Church, Charleston, SC
  • Learn more and register at www.thedigitalcongregation.com

From the Blog

Gardening as a Metaphor for Churches

In recent years, I’ve been giving a good deal of thought to metaphors that communicate clearly what a healthy church or minister is like. There are many of them, but the one that I keep returning to is that of the Garden. As a gardener who finds personal renewal and energy in the rhyt
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Murky Waters

My wife and I once bought our kids a goldfish. A few days later I looked across the room at a fishbowl of murky water and decided to do something nice for my finned friend. I scooped the fish out with my wife’s strainer (I knew she wouldn’t mind), and put him in a glass of water for h
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Navigating the Land of Giants

The story of the Israelite’s thwarted entry into the Promised Land has always made me curious. The twelve spies cross the Jordan and reconnoiter the land before them, returning with a mixed message. Ten of the spies are convinced the giants in the land will devour those who challenge
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Your Congregational Aroma

Like many of you, I regularly read outside the world of congregational life in an effort to understand leadership issues. Recently, in Fast Company, I ran across an article dedicated to helping start-up entrepreneurs establish healthy practices in their ranks. The title: “6 Signs Your
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Is Church Harder than It’s Ever Been?

Guest post by Travis Collins. Being a spiritual leader never has been easy, I’m sure. But something’s different nowadays. Sheri Ferguson noted that “radical changes in our society over the past 50 years have fundamentally redefined the very nature of what it means to be in ministry.”
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What Can We Learn from America’s Cities

Imagine a community in steady decline. There are fewer and fewer people and revenues are declining. Young families, especially, are missing. There is a constant chorus of longing to return to the good old days of the past. A sense of dread about the future pervades and hope seems in s
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What Churches Can Learn from Universities

Churches are not the only institutions wrestling with the transition from a tradition-bound orientation toward a more relevant contemporary life. In recent years, I have had the opportunity to watch two universities model how to adapt and redefine in the face of a dramatically changin
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People of the Well

The story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50 is remarkable on numerous fronts. More ink is devoted to Joseph’s story than any other character in the bible apart from Jesus. The intrigue and drama of the narrative trump any soap opera. The characters that dot the landscape of his life are unfo
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Breaking Our Addiction

I recently visited an impressive coffee shop in a southern city and noticed a sign above the counter that said simply: “We appreciate your addiction.” From the length of the line I waited in to get my cup of coffee, they weren’t kidding. The historic home that housed this shop w
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