Android or iOS. macOS or Windows. IndieBound or Amazon. Latte or batch brew. We’re a generation riddled with a multitude of choices. It is so bad that our generation suffers from choice-fatigue. Because we take all of ourselves everywhere we go, this extends to our work. It even goes as far as our approach to our churches’ mission.
We have a plethora of tech solutions for the same or similar problems to wade through. Through various ‘influencers’ and Facebook groups we’re also presented with tons of ways of doing things. Our (Christian) language includes phrases like, “…doing church…”. The undertone can suggest that ‘doing church’ is a craft or sort.
Of course, we need some systems in place. There is a space for predictability as a way of enabling us to fulfil mission. We have to decide what tools we’ll use.
In the midst of all the options we have of tools, solutions and such, we need to keep the main thing that.
Of the many things your church should do:
This is something we all know, even parrot in different cliché’s. The question we must always answer is, “What does this have to do with mission.” We know this question and we can never ask it too many times. This also speaks into your specific mission as a community. God will only hold us to account for the assignments given us. He’s not going to ask us why we didn’t do what another church was entrusted with. When you look at everything you’re busy with, are you still ‘on mission’?
Churches and organization that thrive have a clear and narrow focus. This is not only about mission but focus. It matters more with restricted resources. Of all the things your church should do, it could be a good idea to do less. One of the things that makes focus difficult is that our intentions are often good. Something being a good thing to do still doesn’t mean we must do it.
While we endeavour to reach people some, we can’t be everything to everyone. I know Paul, said he became all things to all men to win some, but that isn’t instruction to solve every problem in your city. Even Jesus, in his humanity was restricted to one physical locale at a time. He dealt with the needs of people He was with at that time.
Jesus never reached His potential; He fulfilled His purpose. The only time we get ‘ Well done good and faithful servant’ is not if we did everything we could do, it’s if we did the thing God called us to do – Mike Todd
This doesn’t mean you can’t be involved or contribute to the mission of the Church elsewhere. The point is, be strategic and purposeful about what you’re doing. At the end of the day make sure you as a community (and individual too) that you have fulfilled your assignment. (cf. David)
The many tools and models of ‘doing church’ can lull us into believing we can move the mission of the Church forward. We’re always in danger of deceiving ourselves into thinking that we, in our own strength, can fulfil God’s mission. Of the many things your church could do, don’t plan or strategize God out.
‘Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.’ – Psalms 127:1 (NLT)
We must be faithful stewards. There’s no debate there. Being faithful stewards means we’re seeking God first, and not after the fact. Of the time we spend on retreats and planning, how much of it is in prayer?
Serving your community well means an unwavering commitment to the mission. It means being careful to stay true to the strategic, purposeful. Don’t plan out God. Of the many things your church could do, don’t do them all.