We are wrapping up our discussion about Start With Why by Simon Sinek and I think the biggest takeaway for me is that we as church leaders need to lead from our “why.” This creates less tension inside and out of the organization. We become less competitive because we are less focused on how we are doing things and more focused on why we are doing things. This naturally creates better relationships within our teams but also within the team of churches in our community. By doing this, we fulfill Jesus’ prayer of becoming one so that the world will know that He is God.
When we focus on making disciples, we begin to fish in a different pond; the pond of the lost and unchurched in our community. When we focus on our methods, we tend to attract churched Christians and when we notice a growth, this is really just transfer growth from other congregations in the community. This is not Kingdom growth; we are called to grow the Kingdom, not a particular church for a season.
Freedom Within the Why
I hate being micro-managed, therefore, I consciously create a freedom for our staff and volunteers to work in. This removes a lot of limitations on the organization as ideas are not coming from just one source. This freedom for innovation is a byproduct of having a clear “why.” It allows us to grow to the size of the team rather than to the size or scope of an individual.
Alignment of our “what,” “how,” and “why” allows us to be truly authentic in what we believe in. Every individual within the organization is on the same page and operate within the same clear focus.
When we focus too much on our methods, people tend to communicate according to whichever they are most passionate about. This tends to result in mixed messages and a lack of authenticity to those on the outside.
An indicator as to how authentic we are within our communities is how other churches are responding to us. For the most part, we are no longer viewed as a threat here and have been welcomed in to community churches to speak to their teams and congregation. This is a big change and a real sign that we are authentic in our mission to make disciples and our vision to reach the unchurched.
Leading With “Why” in Scripture
Paul’s interaction with King Agrippa in Acts 26 is a prime example of someone who was on trial yet refused to compromise his calling. When asked why he chose the life of a Christian martyr over that of a prominent Jewish Scribe, Paul said he “could not be disobedient to the heavenly vision” and sought to “open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God… to present the offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in Jesus.”
Talk about a clear “why!” It was the clear “why” of the early church leaders that got the fledgling church out of the first century and why we are here today, still preaching Jesus over 2,000 years later.
Shifting to an Outside-Focused Church
I firmly believe that the call of every church is to be outsider focused, to make disciples, and to reach the lost of their communities. If you as a church leader want to move in this direction, you and your team need to be solely convinced that this is the direction you are called to go in. You will face opposition and the temptation to settle for what is comfortable. But, if the leadership are together in this and committed to seeing it through, the church has a chance. It takes a team to confidently move forward in this transition.
Here are a few resources I would recommend in making the transition. They are great books to find language for the church’s clear “why” of making disciples and reaching the unchurched.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek - You have learned lots about this one through our series but this is a must read for sure. It is a business book but it’s principles are very transferrable to the local church.
The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren - Another great book to help in confirming the “why” of your church.
We exist to make disciples of Jesus. We will do anything short of sin to reach every available person with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We will mess with the methods while keeping the message sacred. We will do things no one else is doing so that we can reach people no one else is reaching. We will do our best to separate Jesus from religion in the hearts of people and present Him as the loving, accepting, and gracious Saviour that He is. We will create a place where “no perfect people are allowed;” a safe place where everyone can feel accepted, loved, and forgiven. Why? Because we believe that the church is the hope of the world, on a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches that unchurched people love to attend.
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