Sometimes I think the church doesn’t realize it’s supposed to have a point.
Like, what is the point, really?
Friendship, community, love, encouragement, all those gushy answers sound nice, but only one really pulls it all together — to reach maturity in Christ. Colossians says to become “complete in Christ.”
So for all you resolution junkies out there, how we doin’ with that?
Failure. Total, epic failure. One glance at a Sunday morning church service shows we have no clue what we’re actually doing. What do you see there? Worship and a random message about something that will not come back again. It doesn’t point us to an achievable goal. It is not measurable. And most churches don’t really have any other plan than that. Um, what??
Let’s put it logically.
If we’ve identified bringing people to maturity in Christ is the goal, and I think few disagree with that, then for us to be successful what does achieving the goal of maturity — the goal of all those sermons — look like? Do we even know?
We cannot reach the point of church if we do not have a clear vision of what the goal is and a way of measuring if we’re successful at reaching it. After a while of doing church, wouldn’t you want to know if it’s working or not?
Then to achieve the goal, we need a plan.
I’ve got it. Let’s have the same guy stand up and talk for forty minutes every week. If we pick the best guy and have him talk at everyone else for the longest amount of time, everyone will become mature in Christ, right? Right??
If you’re a pastor, please tell me you’ve thought about this. Please tell me you’ve put hours and hours into researching, discussing, probing, experimenting, and discovering what is the best way to bring me and the rest of the church to maturity. Because I want to hear that after all that work, as an expert in your field, you came up with talking for forty minutes once a week as the most effective method of maturing me and everyone else.
If that’s the case, okay. I’d like to hear your vision, but okay. But I’m afraid you’re doing it because the church has fallen into the pattern of doing church the same way it has the last few hundred years and you’re doing it because you haven’t considered that we can do anything else.
If so, I wonder if you can honestly say as a leader that it’s the most successful, viable vision for the growth of the church. Personally, I think one statement dismantles that idea.
No one remembers what the sermon was last week.
Seriously, name three you’ve heard this year. How can we possibly achieve the one goal of church — maturity — by a weekly method people can’t even remember.
Can we do something about this, please?
I have a simple request for the church and its leaders. If it strikes you what a horribly ineffective and inefficient leadership vision this is, I’m asking you to do me and the congregation one big favor. I’m asking you to think. That’s it.
I know you’re really busy and overworked. I don’t care.
If you have hospital visits to do, send someone else. Send your daughter. She can empathize.
If you have Bible studies to lead, delegate. Choose a few godly men and have them do it.
If you have sermons to give, hand them off. Open up your schedule. In light of the church reaching maturity, is anything else really all that important?
I’m asking for 5-10 hours a week of you doing nothing but thinking, heck 20 hours even, until you come up with a plan to help us grow.
And you know what, I bet you’ll come up with something pretty fantastic.
I’d love to hear about it. I’d love to follow you. I’d love to catch your excitement along the way. I’d love to be a part of something great where I become something great in the process.
Until then, please tell me what the heck is the point, anyway?