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Showing posts from August, 2009

The Purpose of the Church

It seems to me from scripture that the primary purpose of the church is to represent Christ to the world.  The unfortunate reality is that many, if not most, church members think that the church exists to cater to them.  They expect the church to entertain, comfort, inspire and pamper them simply because they are "members".  If the opening statement of this blog is true, how does that play out in reality?  Here are some random thoughts.The church should serve as a "service station" to members equipping them for ministry to and in the world in which they live.The church should demonstrate to the world how to live in community with one another.The church should do for those outside the church what Christ did for the multitudes when He was here on earth.The church should provide nurture and care for new believers, helping them discover and develop their gifts that enable them to function as Christ's ambassadors to the world.The church should be a platform for corp…

How To "Seek First the Kingdom of God" as a Church

Anything that can or should be done individually can be done corporately. The key is getting everyone "on board". For the individual to "seek first the kingdom of God" one must establish kingdom pursuit as the priority ("a" priority becomes one of many, or no priority at all) For the church to do it, the pastoral leadership must consider seeking the kingdom as their reason for being.
Perhaps delving into what it means to "seek first the kingdom of God" will help with focus.
The realization that God's Word is to be obeyed and lived, not just learned.The recongnition that God's kingdom is under His rule, and not open to a democratic process.Realizing that the Holy Spirit can and will bring consensus to a church body as they seek the kingdom.Understanding that delayed obedience is disobedience.Grasping the importance of "nevertheless, Your will be done".Kingdom growth does not come via the latest church growth secret. It comes…

The U.N.I.S.O.N. Approach to Church Health

Over the past 15-20 years the emphasis in the "church world" has been on church growth.  There have been numerous strategies and plans espoused as being the foolproof route to a growing church.  The reality is, if a church is not healthy, any growth that stems from any strategy will be short-lived and ultimately will do more harm than good.  From years of observation, prayer and trial and error, I would suggest the following.Uncover:  This is sort of like going to a clinic for a complete physical.  There are issues in most churches that are covered by layers of programs, traditions and the like.  These issues must be uncovered so that a plan can be devised to deal with them.Needs: The first item which must be exposed is NEED.  What are the needs of the people?  What are the needs of the community around the church?  What are the needs of the church?  The process of uncovering these needs involves question/answer; surveys; observation, and of course, prayer.Interests:  The ne…

The Benefits of Being an Opportunist

Sometimes the term "opportunist" gets bad press.  There are those who think that opportunists are taking advantage of people and/or situations for personal gain.  However, on the flip side seizing an opportunity is what has won wars, launched companies, saved lives and propagated the Gospel of Christ.  In Malcolm Gladwell's book The Outliers he shows graphically how seizing opportunities has given us Apple Computers, Microsoft, Starbucks, etc.  Erwin McManus in Chasing Daylight (originally Seizing Your Divine Moment) and Mark Batterson in In a Pit With A Lion on a Snowy Day show us from scripture and personal experience how the believer is benefitted by being an opportunist.I have noticed that seizing opportunity leads to more opportunity.  Perhaps that is the reason we have some of our mega-churches today.  In grabbing hold of an opportunity, they showed themselves faithful and God sent more opportunity.  It is sort of like the parable of the 3 servants (often called th…