Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More on purpose

In yesterday’s blog I overviewed three benefits to the church from having a well defined purpose. These included the fact that:

1. A clear purpose builds morale
2. A clear purpose reduces frustration
3. A clear purpose allows concentration

Today we continue to overview some thoughts from Rick Warren’s book, Purpose Driven Church. It would be helpful for you to read yesterday’s blog first.

4. A clear purpose attracts cooperation - People want to join a church that knows where it is going. When Ezra told the people exactly what God expected them to do, the people responded, “Tell us how to proceed in setting things straight and we will fully cooperate” (Ezra 10:4 LB). If we want to see our church members get excited about our church, actively support it, and generously give to it, we must vividly explain up front exactly where our church is headed. Proverbs 11:27 (TEV) says, “If your goals are good, you will be respected.” We need to tell people up front where our church is headed. People who transfer their membership to our church carry cultural baggage from their previous church, and may have certain expectations that our church has no intention of fulfilling. There are two important lessons for us to keep in mind. First, we cannot let whiners set the agenda for the church. Second, the best time to discover anyone’s conflict with our church’s philosophy of ministry is before they join.

5. A clear purpose assists evaluation - A church does not evaluate itself by comparing itself to other churches but by asking, “Are we doing what God intends for us to do and how well are we doing it?” Our church’s purpose statement must become the standard by which we measure our congregation’s health and growth. There is absolutely no correlation between the size and the strength of a church. A church can be big and strong, or it can be big and flabby. Likewise, a church can be small and strong, or it can be small and wimpy. Big is not necessarily better, nor is being small necessarily better. Better is better. Becoming a purpose driven church takes time. To become a purpose driven church we must:

  • DEFINE our purposes
  • COMMUNICATE those purposes to everyone in our church on a regular basis
  • ORGANIZE our church around our purposes
  • APPLY our purposes to every part of your church.

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