The Church's "Why" Within the Community

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We are continuing our discussion about Start With Why from last week. Here is a quick review:

Organizations that lead with their “why” and line up their “why” with their methods reap a loyal following. When we wrestled our why to the ground and discovered our clear purpose, it set us on a course of clarity and we have seen great results.

Mechanical vs. Agricultural Leadership

Churches that lead on the basis of what they do and how they do it often produce “church-hoppers” rather than loyal congregants who understand their “why.” It can be easier for us as pastors to identify what we do and how we do it but far more difficult to determine the “why” behind it all. What we do is visible and tangible, but the why is harder to see and can sometimes seem less important than what is in front of us everyday.

Our “why” is most important though! We focus on the “why” and then ask ourselves if our current programs and elements are the best way to achieve it. This allows us to filter our decisions and judge our overall effectiveness.

The tendency for us all is to lead by reaction rather than with vision. We often look at today’s problems and immediately work to fix them. When we do this, our focus strays from the “why” and goes to what is broken and how to fix it. If we step back and look at the big picture, not just patching today’s mistakes, we can lead agriculturally instead of mechanically. Mechanical leadership makes fixes everyday. Agricultural leadership knows what to plant today in order to reap tomorrow. If you don’t like what you’re reaping, change what you’re planting.

Hurdles in Establishing the MyVictory “Why”

One of my biggest hurdles when coming into Lethbridge was the fact that I was the fifth pastor to lead this church. There were members of the congregation who were saved under each of the previous leaders, all of which had unique strengths and different focuses. There were also multiple ministries running in the building, each with their own focus resulting in competing methodologies.

When I arrived, I shut every program down besides our Sunday services and began to teach the “why.” The church was so focused on what each program was doing and how each was doing it (regardless of the fruit) that we had lost the “why.” After understanding the “why,” we began reintroducing the different programs as slaves to serve the “why” and the effectiveness of each grew.

Our “Why” And the Community

Our “why” is to make disciples of Jesus so it is all about the community, therefore we have to focus on our community to fulfill our mission. When the church drifts it’s focus towards the methods, it will become insider focused and lose touch with the very people they are trying to reach.

Jesus was masterful at reaching people and He ministered not just to their spiritual needs but to their physical and emotional needs as well. In fact, He often tended to those felt needs before He began preaching. We decided to take our cue from Him and began to focus on serving our city. We didn’t want our only contact with the community to be within our building; we wanted to take the church to them.

In becoming the hands and feet of Jesus for our city, we have seen an increase in openness from the community and our reputation as a church has shifted dramatically.

Jesus clearly said, “I came to seek and save that which is lost.” His “why” was the lost and that means that ours should be as well. We have to shift our focus outside of our own walls because the church is the hope of the world, given a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.

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