church Tag

The past few days have made me sad. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, comment threads on news articles, conversations outside Starbucks...everywhere I look, everywhere I am, I hear anger. Hatred. Even rage. At the same time, I hear hurt. Pain. Sadness. In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding homosexual marriage, it's all over the place. I know you've seen it too. I'm not assigning a certain behavior, action, attitude or feeling to one "side" or another. I see it all on both "sides" of the issue. This past week, I've heard one phrase more than almost any other. I've seen Christians, even well-intentioned, compassionate, grace-giving Christ-followers, use this phrase:

"Love the sinner, hate the sin."

But is it working?

To be successful, every organization, church, or business needs a clearly defined mission and vision. (Tweet this) Without defined goals, processes, and systems, nothing can be measured or evaluated. No progress can be made. The challenge for leaders young and old is not understanding the power and importance of these two vital identity components. The challenge is understanding their basic function and how they relate to each other. I often see churches that have two mission statements, but no vision. This is so common it's actually the norm. Churches have catchy, clever, and carefully crafted slogans that they call a vision but that represent little meaning to the actual operational direction. As I train our team at First Christian Church Student Ministry, and as I coach other leaders to develop and implement strategic vision within their organization, I explain these concepts in a simple, clear way. Here's what it looks like:

I started to write this post with some really wordy paragraphs about church growth and ministry strategy but it sounded lame so I deleted it. Instead, let me admit to you what one of my biggest struggles has been. I struggle with a constant feeling of insufficiency. Why? Because I'm a doer. Because I'm in a position of leadership and far too often I choose to wear the pressure of having to make things work. Because I bought into the idea long ago that if my church or ministry is going to grow, I have to make it happen. We have to have the right people. We have to design the right program. We have to offer the right kinds of events, teaching series, or opportunities. We have to play the right games. You get what I'm saying, right? Here's what I discovered a little while ago that I keep coming back to and am only now beginning to understand.