The Model of the Church: Mission
I would like to begin a series of blog posts about the model of the church with the first one being about Mission. I do believe this is one of the most written about subjects in the last 30 years or so. We have graduated from the one-size-fits-all church growth model of the 80’s and 90’s to a location sensitive, culturally relevant, wholistic approach to creating structure within the church. This subject also bring about its fair share of paralysis. Leaders are inundated with a multitude of information and have to sort through it to gather what is the most important items.
There are many firms that deal specifically with this subject matter. Some of them are very expensive and others are reasonable. All of them require work and to think deeply about the church.
I do believe that each church has a unique vision but all of us share the same mission which is to make disciples per the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20. Unfortunately, especially in established churches, like I serve in, the mission oftentimes is replaced with personal passions, apathy, and complaining that prevent the church from fulfilling its mission. It is important to establish that the mission is not set by individual churches but is set by the chief shepherd which is Jesus. If we waver from that mission then we are not fulfilling what God desired for us to do. When we boil down our metrics for the year we should look at one metric only, “How many new disciples did we make this year?” If that number is 0 then we have failed.
Jesus warned the churches in the book of Revelation that if they did not change their ways that were not of Him then He would come and remove their lamp stand. I think it is safe to say that when a church closes down that Jesus has taken their lamp stand. I believe though, as well, that their are churches still functioning today but their lamp stand is already gone. Could we actually continue to preach, teach, give money, and go through the motions of the church and not have the authorization from Christ to even be functioning? I believe that this can happen but that church will not last long and will die away soon.
The secret, and it is not a true secret, to us being able to survive in this current culture is for all churches to make it a regular habit of understanding that we must make disciples. If we do not make disciples then we are not fulfilling the Great Commission and truly their is no reason for us to exist at all. If on the other hand, every church member decided that they were going to make disciples then the church would be an unstoppable force in this world in which the world would have to take notice. For now, we sit in silence and are frustrated that God doesn’t just shower down revival and bring people into the church without us even lifting a finger.
Let us be on Mission!