When I wrote The Purpose Driven Church, I made the bold assertion that every church is driven by something. That’s still true, and you must decide what will drive your congregation.
A lot of churches are driven by tradition. Others will be driven by personalities and politics. Still other churches are driven by debt, by the shape of their buildings, or by a ministry structure so large and so inflexible that fresh growth will be difficult.
Healthy churches, however, are driven by God’s purposes. These churches will focus on the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, and they’ll discover that God wants his church to fulfill five purposes:
- Worship – Healthy churches will magnify the name of Jesus in all that they do.
- Evangelism – Healthy churches will focus on the mission of introducing unchurched people to Jesus.
- Fellowship – Healthy churches will bring people into membership in God’s family, the church.
- Discipleship – Healthy churches will help people become more like Christ.
- Ministry – Healthy churches will help people discover their SHAPE (Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences) for serving others.
Leading your church into health and growth won’t depend on launching a bunch of new programs and ministries. It will depend on designing and working through a process for making fully mature, reproducing disciples so that you can help people move from the local community into your crowd, from the crowd into your congregation, from being part of your congregation to being fully committed to being part of the core of your church.
These are the basic, biblical concepts behind what it means to be a Purpose Driven church. I want to help you and your church discover how to do this in your ministry context so that it will be the greatest year of growth you’ve ever experienced. And growth is far more than numbers. We can grow larger, but we can also grow deeper, broader, warmer, and stronger.
As you begin to review this past year of ministry, ask yourself the question: what has driven us this year? If it’s anything other than God’s purposes, right now is the best time to refocus and align your church’s ministry with the heart and the purposes of God!
Join us at HOPE RENEWED, the 2017 Purpose Driven Church event, as we continue the conversation about growing healthy, effective churches together!
June 27–29, 2017
1 Saddleback Parkway, Lake Forest, CA 92630