There are so many good things we can do in the world today and there are a million good charities and non-profits that are doing really great things and giving money to them or helping them would truly benefit society. In my last job every employee was encouraged to give to UNICEF, how could you say no to starving kids? Many times at Christian concerts they try to get you to sponsor a child through World Vision or Compassion International and show heartbreaking pictures. The name Sarah McLachlan automatically makes me think of animals that need rescuing. Plus, I personally know a number of missionaries across the world who could certainly use more money. However, we obviously can’t just say yes to every good program that crosses our path. So, we typically prioritize what means the most to us or we feel is the greatest benefit or any number of ways about how we might give our money or our time to a good cause. In the same way a business can’t spread itself so thin that it is unable to do anything well. Successful businesses figure out what they do well or identify an area of need and focus all of their resources in that direction.
Church should operate in the same way. There are any number of good things our churches can do, and in many cases are doing, but that don’t fulfill the central purpose of the existence of the church. We see in Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” The church is a place of learning and understanding the teaching of the apostles and of Jesus and thankfully we have the Bible to help us. But we don’t just meet in order to learn after all we see two instances where Jesus tells us to go out into the world and be his witnesses and make disciples in Acts1:8 and Matthew 28:18-20 respectively. Paul gives us an idea of what it looks like in Ephesians 4:11-12, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” So, the three things we see here are a devotion to Biblical teaching, a commissioning to go out and make disciples, and equipping the body for the work of ministry.
Now the question is, can you say that every program in your church is accomplishing those three things? Do your church’s mission and vision statements lead to those being accomplished?
Here2There believes that every church should have a strong and measurable mission statement. One that encompasses what the church is going to do and how it will be accomplished. Only then can you know if all of your services, classes and programs fit within that mission and move the church towards the identified goal. Maybe its time to evaluate some of the things that your church is involved in to see if they fit your mission and if they don’t it might be time to shut them down. It could be difficult and possibly unpopular but as a church the focus should be the most resources as possible in the direction that the Holy Spirit is leading. Often times the problem we run into is that we have spread ourselves too thin that we end up not really accomplishing very much at all. If we take a step back, evaluate and prioritize what we do then we can pour more resources into everything we’re doing. Let’s start trying to be great at a few things rather than being mediocre(at best) at many things.
One of the churches that we work with was in a very lifeless state. In about a decade they had gone from a church of around 500 to a church that struggled to even hit 100 on any particular Sunday morning. They had gotten comfortable and lost their focus. That same church now has completely revamped their whole reason for existing and now everything they do leads towards missions. There is a big push for everyone to be involved in missions, whether its with neighbors across the street or across the world, and the church has a renewed life. They’re attractive again because they are showing that they care.
Here2There has some ways we can help a church in this area. We have:
-DNA MATRIX EVALUATION – helps evaluate every area of ministry in your church with the mission elements
-MISSION OVERVIEW – initiates a mission strategy for your church
-FREE MISSION EVALUATION CALL WITH OUR TEAM – free 30 minute call with one of our Mission Strategists
Contact us if you are interested in knowing more or learning about any of our resources.
here2there.org or [email protected]
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