Some years ago, the famous consultant Peter Drucker observed that most non-profit organizations can’t answer two basic questions: “What business are we in?” and “How’s business?” Having been generated, in most cases, from a strong vision at inception, there is natural drift over time into a range of activities that may not cohere around a clear vision and identity.
The church is not immune to this phenomenon, of course, and with all the worship services, mission projects, care and visitation, fellowship, and spiritual formation offerings at hand it is easy to lose sight of the “business” Jesus had in mind for us. What do all the programs and activities of the church actually serve?
I find, personally, a compelling answer in the Great Commission of Jesus to the disciples in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” The church exists to proclaim Christ, in word and deed, and develop ministry that builds up committed Jesus-followers who can grow in relationship to him and bear his love to the broken places in our world through tangible acts of service and compassion.
It might be useful to think for a moment about your involvement with the church over time in light of this purpose and calling. What has the church contributed to your development as a follower of Jesus Christ? How has it built you up in relationship to him, and what acts of love and service has it facilitated in you? Where do you believe Christ is calling you to follow him more intently right now?
Grace and peace,