|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Be smart, be strategic”
Our Bible verse for today: “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfector of our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The church needs to stay focused”
It’s easy for churches to get distracted and off track these days. There are so many issues in our world that are of concern and which need attention, but no church can address them all. There are also many loud, angry, demanding voices (in and out of the church) insisting that the church should be involved in politics (left and right), but should we? There are groups calling for the church’s action on social issues, environmental causes, court cases, and much more.
In every community there are scores of Christian groups promoting all sorts of programs and events that they want the local churches to be involved in and to support. Often, it’s done with the underlying implication that if you don’t join with them in their program or cause, then you obviously don’t love Jesus. But how many such programs and causes can any church realistically try to be involved in?
Then there are the Christian telemarketers who all want just 15 minutes of the pastor’s time to tell you about a product or service which will revolutionize your church and which you therefore have to have. And again, the underlying implication is that if you don’t want what they’re offering, or if you won’t listen to their spiel, there must be something wrong with you and your church.
There’s also sometimes a sense of competition between churches. Churches begin to feel that if other churches in their area are offering a large menu of programs and activities then we have to as well, or we’ll look bad by comparison. Many churches respond to that pressure by trying to be all things to all people. There’s a sense that we have to do it all and we have to be it all or we’re failing.
The basic truth being taught in Hebrews 12:1-2 is that Christians (and churches) need to focus on the things that really matter, and refuse to be distracted by things that don’t. No church can be all things to all people, and you’re foolish if you try to be.
Tomorrow, I’ll introduce you to a concept known as “simple church”. To be focused on, and to stay focused on the right things, the church needs to first rid itself of programs and activities that are only distracting them and therefore limiting their effectiveness. It’s vitally important for the church to be smart and strategic about this. We have to stay focused.
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