A few weeks ago, our church leadership team went on retreat. It was an important time of refocusing on the essentials, the most important aspects of church life.

"Mission drift" is an ever-present temptation. We get distracted by so many things: pushy people, the demands of running programs, the desire to avoid conflict, financial pressures, new opportunities that are oh-so-attractive even if they're not at the heart of our calling.

All of them can tempt us to shift our focus to secondary matters just for the sake of expediency. As Peter Drucker puckishly put it: "There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all."

For leaders, the never-ending task is "to keep the main thing the main thing." And our church leaders benefited from refocusing on our core calling. It put everything else in proper perspective.

In this issue of Leadership Journal, we are doing that for all of us in congregational leadership. If ...

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