BY STEVE DUNN
“If our attendance was up and our offerings were easily covering the bills, would we be having this conversation?”
The question came from a member of our Vision Advisory Team—which was looking at the current state of the church and making recommendations for what we needed to change or do to be more effective in our mission.
My answer was “yes, absolutely.” The fact of the matter is that we could be doing acceptable ministry as measured by the nickels and noses, but we still may not be accomplishing the mission God has entrusted us with.
It’s called “mission drift” and it occurs when churches grow either comfortable or unreflective. We may see external evidence of our success but we often do not see the quiet decisions we make and the attitudinal adjustment that occur. These smaller decisions have a way of diverting people and financial resources away from the main thing we say God wants us to accomplish. Attitudinal adjustments create an unspoken status quo that does not continue to ask, “What would Jesus have us do?”
Every church needs to have an ongoing process of asking a simple set of questions:
1. When the year began, what did we believe God wanted us to accomplish?
2. Did we accomplish it and how do we know that we really did succeed?
3. What has been added to our ministries in the last year?
4. Have these things strengthened the mission or have they weakened it?
5. As we move forward, what do we believe wants us our mission to be now?