The conference speaker was clear. "There are five essential questions of congregational life," said the Rev. Lloyd John Ogilvie, "five questions that must be asked and answered sequentially. If you skip any of them, the best that your church will ever do is limp."
With that opening line, I began to take notes.
When I returned from that conference, however, I kept those questions to myself. They guided me personally, but not the church as a whole.
Now, 20 years after speaking at that conference, Lloyd John Ogilvie is the chaplain of the U.S. Senate, and I'm in my fourth church. Yet when I came to my current pastorate, I decided our whole congregation needed the reprioritizing influence of those five, fundamental questions. I hoped the church would seek and take ownership of the answers. I didn't realize how dramatically these questions would transform us.
Many churches try hard to "do church" the best they know how. Yet those churches are often directionless (like we were), relying more on ...1