Monday, September 12, 2016

5 questions the church must answer

Yesterday marked my first Sunday as the Transitional Pastor of Madison FBC. As a church seeks new pastoral leadership it is important that it spends time reflecting on its history and even more on its future. In my message I challenged the church to begin asking five questions to prepare them as they move forward. These questions need to be asked periodically by every congregation as it seeks to minister.

  1. Why are we here? This goes to purpose and mission. Many churches struggle with their purpose for being. They don't understand the mission they've been given. Actually, the mission for every church is the same: The Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Churches that do not understand that fulfilling this mission will find themselves struggling to enjoy a productive ministry.
  2. How will we accomplish our purpose? This goes to vision. While the mission of every church is the same, the vision will be different for every church. Churches are made up of different people with various gifts and ministry interests, plus each church serves in different areas that have different needs. The challenge for each church is to understand God's vision for their ministry.
  3. What will hinder us from achieving our purpose? This goes to leadership. As John Maxwell reminds us, "Everything rises and falls on leadership." No organization, including a church, will rise any higher than its leadership. This includes both pastoral and lay leadership. Churches need strong leadership, and we need to develop leadership pipelines that are developing future leaders so when time comes they will be ready to provide the leadership the church needs.
  4. Who are we here for? When a church answers that question it is ready to begin preparing its budget for the upcoming year and to develop its programming. The church should be the one organization that exists for its non-members. While we do need to minister to one another and enjoy times of fellowship, we always need to remember that our primary focus must be on those who do not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  5. Is what we are doing here today worth the life of the Son of God? This may be the most powerful question we must answer. When I think of some of the things churches have focused on, fought over, and divided because of, I have to ask this question. Did Jesus really leave the glory of heaven to die on a cross just so churches could do some of the things they do?
These are not easy questions to answer, and no congregation that seeks to answer them should expect every answer to be pleasant. However, answering these questions will prepare us for the future ministry God wants to do in and through us.

No comments: