kill? execution? local church?
Hey! The first words of a blog should probably grab your attention – right? Wow – the pressure. How am I doing so far? Let me introduce myself. My name is Rich Birch and I work in the wild world of church stuff. This post is suppose to give you a sense of what this blog will be all about.
A number of years ago the “mission/vision statement” craze hit the local church. Before you knew it every church was developing a memorable, compelling, and motivational statement that were used to codify the organization with laser sharp focus. Everybody was really happy with their statement and believed that this was going to help them say “yes” to the sort of things that would help them move forward and say “no” to the stuff that would distract them. Here are just a couple statements that I found with a quick google search:
“To love the people of Cincinnati into relationship with Jesus Christ and give away to the world what God has given us.”
“We exist to welcome people to faith; equip people with a faith that works in real life; and send us in service into the world in Jesus’ name.”
“We are called to make disciples for Jesus Christ.”
“Helping Others Experience the JOY of Jesus Christ”
“Transforming individuals into empowered disciples of Christ.”
“To worship God, to make disciples of Jesus, and to serve the world.”
“To make more and better disciples of Jesus Christ.”
Or even the mission statement of my own church:
“Our mission is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Does it strike you odd that with the multiplicity of churches in North America how similar all of our mission statements are? Boiling the vast majority of statements down we end up with some variation of – reach people with the message of Jesus . . . grow those people up in their faith . . . care for and love people. I guess it’s not surprising that we are have the same mission. We are after all following the same God . . . reading from the same book . . .
If our “defining statements” that guide our organizations are so similar why is there so much diversity in the church? Maybe a little bit more to the point . . . how is it possible for a church that is thriving, growing and impacting people with the message of Jesus share the same common dna as a shrinking church that is meerly a shadow of those statements?
I think one possible answer could be execution – the ability of a local church to connect it’s vision for the future into reality. This online discussion is going to look at that intersection – ideas & reality. We’re probably going to ask far more questions than we answer but I think the dialogue will be helpful!
What about you? What are some “killer churches” that you know? Churches that have been able to make their vision connect with reality?