The Importance of ‘Purpose’ part 3
Updated: Oct 29, 2019
In parts one and two of this topic we looked at the importance of developing a clear purpose for your ministry and the necessity of analyzing ministries within the local church to determine their effectiveness. I can say from experience that the process of making radical changes we are speaking of carries great benefits but must be done with great discernment. If you are a just establishing yourself as the pastor of a local church, there might be greater benefit to the church body in being patient. Be willing to observe the ministry for a few years before making any radical changes…and then proceed with caution. The benefits gained through ministry shifting within your church will all be lost if half of your congregation leaves within the first few years of your ministry because of those changes.
The third, and final observation on purpose within church ministries is this…you have to realize that ‘more is always more, but more is not always better.’ I love ice cream; a nice chocolate base flavor with chunks of chocolate, pretzel, and a swirl of caramel. Periodically, we will get ice cream as a family after special events or when we are out and about. Is is ok to eat a little ice cream with the family and enjoy the flavors? Sure. But eating too much comes with a steep cost that is measured in pounds and inches. When it comes to ice cream, more is always more, but more isn’t always better.
Beware lest the church calendar become “too much of a good thing” that keeps the local body from accomplishing the very goals it has set out to achieve. Just like a father has to portion out the ‘good things’ in his kid’s schedules, it is necessary that the church calendar doesn’t become the driving force of the church. This is a concept that the world doesn’t understand. Baseball games on Monday and Thursday, Soccer practice right after school, swim lessons on Wednesday night, Friday and Saturday tournaments, Sunday trips to the lake…wash, rinse, repeat!!! No wonder families in our culture are falling apart. They are only held together by the spiral binding on the family refrigerator calendar. And when the kids are gone, mom and dad are left alone feeling like strangers and the kids have moved on to bigger and better things in life.
Don’t let the church contribute to the fragmentation of your church families. You have to work hard to leave time in your church family’s schedule to encourage strong families and stable marriages. Preach this Biblical concept from the pulpit. Warn your parents of the dangers of over scheduling their children’s lives. Unfortunately, the downfall of schedule/program-led church leadership is that it looks at a blank calendar and dreams of all the events…all the good…that the church could be doing. Remember, more is always more but more is not always better.
So are you accomplishing the purposes of the local church? Do you discern ministry opportunities through the filter of your purposes? I’m glad God’s Word gives the church clear goals…it’s our job to accomplish those goals in our ministries!
DJHarry Isaiah 64:8 We are the clay!