Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Do you want a great church?

"A great commitment to the Great Commission and to the Great Commandment will grow a great church." This has been a slogan at Saddleback Church in California for 30 years. Pastored by Rick Warren, this church reaches over 20,000 people each weekend. The church has over 200 ministries, but each of them are focused on either the Great Commission or the Great Commandment.

The church has a bad habit of chasing fads. We are always looking for the new thing that will grow our church. Church leaders run from seminar to conference trying to learn the secret to make their church great. We seem to think if we can learn the secret of this growing church or that one we can just duplicate what they are doing and reap the same benefits.

In his 2001 book Carpe MaƱana Leonard Sweet writes, "The church has tried everything except the one thing that is needed. It has tried to be an inclusive church. It has tried to be a confessional church. It has tried to be a program-driven church. It has tried being a purpose-driven church. It has tried to be a seeker-sensitive church. What if it tried to be a spiritual church?"

A spiritual church doesn't need gimmicks to reach people. It merely attempts to do what Jesus taught us to do in the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Fulfilling these two directives is the mission of the church, and when a church is focused on doing these two things it will be a great church.

Smaller churches, in particular, need to be very careful they do not overextend their resources. This includes both their financial resources and their human resources. Many smaller churches are attempting to do too much, often in an effort to compete with larger churches in the area. When this happens they find themselves spread too thin and not doing anything very well.

Most smaller churches would accomplish more by doing less and by focusing more on the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Anything that is not tied to these two things should be eliminated in smaller churches and in most other churches as well. We cannot afford to allow ourselves to be distracted by trying to do other things.

If you want to be part of a great church focus on fulfilling the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. When your church is reaching people for Christ and serving people in His name, it will be a great church.

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