Never Without a Mission – Always Say Never, pt.7   Leave a comment

Matthew 28:16-20.

What is the mission of the church?  To be part of God’s mission which is to redeem the world unto Himself.  One thing that is fascinating about the Greek language, the written language of the New Testament, concerns the word “priority.”  We are always talking about how we need to have our priorities in order, how we need to set our priorities, and how our priorities are so crucial to how we function.  In the Greek language, the word we translate “priority” cannot be made plural.  I think that is theologically sound as well as a grammatical truth. I have heard many people express their desire to put our church “on the map.”  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this thinking, but some things need to be understood.  Only 15% of churches are growing today.  Those that are growing have some commonalities; they have a clear sense of their own identity; they have made themselves unique to their region; and they are meeting the felt needs of their communities.

Wanting to be “on the map” is fine to have as a goal but a word of caution is required – why do you want your church on the map?  Is it to give glory to God?  Is it to reach many people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Is it to help everyone within your church’s area to know the love of God in an entirely new way?  If it is for any other reason, then the thought process is severely flawed!  Remember, we are the body of Christ and Christ is the head.  Members of the body belong to one another and selfishness or pride are never acceptable motivations.

The church must have a good sense of its own identity, vision, and mission.  This helps the church to know the ‘who’, ‘what’, and ‘how.’  These are absolutely foundational.  Remember the story of the one who built his house upon the sand?

85% of churches are in plateau or decline.  20% of those churches will have to close their doors within the next 10 years.  I know of a few churches that have 10 or less attending on a regular basis.  How they are going to survive is nothing short of the need for a miracle.

Unfortunately, part of the problem for some of these churches is that they have control freaks as Pastors.  We can debate Pastoral authority all day, but I’m talking about those who truly abuse their position.  Seeing church fights causes the rest of the world to look at us and ask, “Why would I want to be part of that?”

Much of this is caused by a loss of identity within Christendom.  When the body of Christ loses its identity, heaven help the church!  What is the church identity?  People who belong to Jesus.  It has nothing to do with buildings or facilities.  It is people gathered together who are…

….not alone, not afraid, not ashamed, not the same, not without friends, not without a vision, and not without a mission.

Do you belong to this identity?  Are you a Christian changed by the love and power of Jesus Christ?  Have you changed so much that people all around you have noticed?  Are you involved with the body of Christ?  Do you understand your role in growing as a disciple?  Do you understand the real vision and mission of the church?

If not – get on board!  And if so – let’s go!  And for heaven’s sake, folks…ALWAYS SAY NEVER!

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