PLYMOUTH, MI – If you already read my column “Register to Ramp-It-Up” you can skip down to paragraph number two.
Some churches look like cruise ships with something for everyone: entertainment shows, casinos, 24-hour restaurants, pools, personal-massages, deckchairs, gyms, shoreline tours, something for everyone and everyone doing their own thing. However, the most effective churches permit activities, spending and people’s time to be invested in the narrow, well-expressed mission focus of the church. Shouldn’t churches be more designed as rescue watercraft that cruise waterways with well-trained crews ready to save lives? Intensifying mission focus is about less not more. I observe the most effective ministries achieving more with less. Less words. Less calendared activities. Less busyness. More intensity. More precision with their resources. More depth achieved by sharpening the tip of the mission focus.
Mission Focus Zoom Discussion Registration
Wednesday, September 25 – CLICK to REGISTER for one time slot
As a teenager, I received a set of bow and arrows as a gift. Three of the arrows had blunted tips made of soft rubber. They were intended as starter arrows. They did not penetrate wood or straw bales. They simply made a thud sound then dropped to the ground after they hit the intended surface. As you can already imagine my friends and I enjoyed shooting the blunted tipped arrows at one another. We knew that was not the intended purpose of the rubber tipped arrows. Paper notices within the packaging warned us not to shoot at others.
Yet, can you envision the difference if we would have shot the sharpened, metal tipped arrows at one another? Those arrows flew well, they hit the intended targets and they penetrated deep into the surface. Isn’t that what we desire of our churches’ mission focus. Wouldn’t it do the members of your church and you well to see the mission focus penetrating the community and the lives of yet unbelieving people around you? We do not want to see people hurt with arrows jutting out of their flesh, but you would love to see the transforming power of the good news of Christ change lives.
In the past, church ministries have become chronically weakened by striving unsuccessfully to completely fill-out two popular templates for church. First, some believe every church must be like the other churches within the community. Every congregation must offer an incredible ministry when it comes to five areas: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and mission. Programs are set-up that stumble along because there are too few and poorly trained servants trying to fill the gap and feeling guilty for failing in their tasks. That goal is simply not reasonable nor encouraging. Second, some churches believe the best way to grow a church is to please every age group by thinly spreading out the resources of people, calendar dates, facilities and funds so that no one is left out. Every ministry receives a meager portion. However, those churches, in both cases, come to realize that their mission focus is too broad, too dull and too soft. There is no real spiritual penetration in the lives of early believers and the spiritually lost in the community. Spreading the church too thin creates a thud, and everything becomes mundane with no anticipation of anything great happening.
You can prepare to discuss more on this subject, on September 25, by reflecting on a couple of questions. What are the strengths within the people who are in the church? What are the real, obvious needs of those around you? What will it take and who needs to be involved to transform the most immediate need within your larger community?
Today, there is a healthy way to look at your church’s future. We will talk with you about these healthy elements on September 25 at 9 AM or 9 PM. Please, click on the link above to register for a morning or evening discussion on “Mission Focus Intensified.” There is much more to discuss. I will point you toward helpful resources that will help you go further with those around you serving the Lord. By the time you finish our one-hour, online discussion you will have some personalized action steps for your church and its future.
If you have questions about the ZOOM.US meeting you may call my ministry assistant, Andrew Parsons, Monday through Thursday during normal business hours at (810) 714-1907 or send Andrew an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – see you online in September.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tony Lynn is the State Director of Missions for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before coming on staff at the BSCM, Tony served as lead pastor for more than six years at Crosspoint Church in Monroe, Michigan. He and his wife, Jamie, also served with the International Mission Board in Africa and in Europe.