Look for these clues to see if your church is on track.
| posted 11/11/2009
The transition from a Kingdom Lighthouse into a self-service institution usually takes time and is rooted in a disconnect between the original vision of the founders and the everyday lives of the current members.
Of course, there is good news and bad news for today's churches that wish to return to their original vision. The good news is that all churches are required by the government to form a constitution, which includes a purpose statement. The bad news is that founding pastors often do not spend a great deal of time writing these, which results in a "boilerplate" constitution—a copy of another church's constitution, which was copied from another church, and so on.
However, even the most meager Church Constitution will provide a rough outline for moving forward.
In addition, we all have Scripture to fall back on, and the Great Commission provides support for even the shakiest of foundations. In the end, it will take energy and effort to revitalize the vision of a tired institution, but doing so is a necessary step to revitalize the members of that institution and transform them into a Kingdom Lighthouse that will ultimately bring glory to God.
Rededicate the Church Family
All the members of a Body must covenant to work together before positive steps can be taken and momentum established.
Nature abhors a vacuum and will seek to fill it with anything available. Similarly, no church really exists without a purpose. The problem is that so many churches today simply have the wrong purpose. The church is slowly dragged away from its original vision, which creates a vacuum, and that vacuum is quickly filled with whatever is most convenient and enjoyable.
But why does it all happen so easily? Why doesn't anyone realize what is going on and throw up a red flag? There are two reasons. First, the Bible says that we Christians are like sheep, and sheep follow their leaders. Second, every church has at least one antagonist; a poor leader. Whether it is the oldest member of a church, the strongest personality or the largest donor, we must identify and deal with those people who are leading falsely, because we can be sure that others will follow. Of course, one effective way to identify these individuals is to note how they react to change—usually they will be very resistant to it, even to a positive change back to the original vision. While we can sympathize with their struggle to leave what is comfortable, we must not allow them to prevail. Our calling is to fear the Lord, not man, and that calling should force us to firmly confront those who oppose God's design for His Church.