The other day my family and I left the church to grab aquick lunch. I pulled out of the parking lot before we decided where we were going. I just started driving while we were discussing the options. Between Tara’s food allergy to soy, kid preferences, budget, and determining what sounds good this process can get rather complicated. Throw into the mix that I am driving a certain direction and the limited options of that choice it is a wonder we are not still driving trying to decide. We finally found a place to stop and eat though it took too long and added to the already stressful situation of a large family with young kids going out to eat.
A church without a goal and a strategy finds itself in a similar situation. The organization is already moving without any result in mind. Everyone has their opinion and preferences, but no one can answer where they are going. When someone has a good idea, they realize that it is too hard to make it happen because of the direction everything else is moving. A church like this may be busy but it will never live up to its full potential. It will find that even easy decisions become too stressful.
A popular verse of scripture used to talk about vision is Proverbs 29:18. It is translated many ways:
- · “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (KJV)
- · “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint.” (ESV)
- · “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.” (NASB)
- · “Without revelation people run wild.” (CSB)
I like to paraphrase it like this, “Without God’s direction we will go our own way.” If we do not understand what God wants us to be doing as a church, we will be guilty of everyone doing their own things for their own reasons. That is contrary to the picture of the church being the body of Christ. A body can only function when every part of the body is helping the body to accomplish its goal.
I had a great time with the men during the Men’s Townhall a couple weeks ago. Part of our talk was the need to define our purpose, mission, and goals so we can develop a structure that will carry out the strategy to accomplish them. I believe that God speaks to all of us directly and directs his ministry from the congregation. I will be laying out a plan to help us understand what God wants us to be doing as a church. Once we figure out our purpose, mission, and goals we will work to determine the best structure that will help us accomplish those goals.
You have two opportunities to hear about this plan that will begin in January. This Sunday evening, November 7, at 6:30 PM, we will have our quarterly business conference. At the end of the conference, I will present the plan and give an opportunity for you to ask questions. On December 12, at 4:30 PM, we will have another presentation with a question-and-answer time.
What we will be working on over the next several months will affect everything we do as a church. Your participation is extremely important. These changes will not be directly comingfrom me. Everyone who participates will have a big impact on what we accomplish as a church over the next several years. I look forward to taking this journey with you. It will be a great thing to know where we are going before we leave the parking lot.