“Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age'” (Matthew 28:18-20 NLT).
When I was still working in the corporate world we often quoted management guru, Peter Drucker. Drucker had two diagnostic questions that he posed to business leaders to help them clarify and refocus on their core business.
These two questions were: 1) What business are you in? and 2) How’s business?
How a business, or for that matter, a non-profit, a church or even an individual answers these two questions is really critical to their future. A classic example of a business that misunderstood the first question was America’s railroad business.
A hundred years ago the railroad business was perhaps the most powerful and prominent in America. However, they made a mistake in answering Drucker’s first question: “What business are you in?. They thought they were in the train business, but they were actually in the transportation business! They confused the how with the why in their mission. Had they realized they were really in the transportation business, they would likely be leaders in the industry today.
The church is not a business, but it does have a clearly defined purpose. This purpose was given to the disciples by Jesus. In a passage that many refer to as the “Great Commission,” Jesus told the church that they were to “make disciples.” To use Drucker’s terminology one might say, “The church is to be in the disciple-making business.”
But like the railroad business, many churches have lost focus on their core mission. They struggle with institutional drift, focusing more on current members, buildings and budgets, rather than reaching the world for Christ. They’ve let disciple-making either slip to the back seat in emphasis or forgotten it altogether.
In order to overcome this tendency to lose focus or to focus on the wrong things, we’ve launched the “Time to Thrive” emphasis at WCC. We want to do more than survive. At this house and at your house, we want to thrive! We want WCC to be a family of committed Christ followers who are really thriving in the purpose that Christ has given us.
This past week we’ve been showing a 22-minute video in our communty groups that I recorded to describe the four strategic initiatives on which we want to focus to make sure that we are fulfilling Christ’s purpose. These four strategic initiatives are:
We want to be known as a …
- Disciple-making church.
- City church.
- Financially healthy church.
- Giving church
If you didn’t get a chance to watch the video, you can watch it on our church website under the “Time to Thrive” tab. There is also a list of frequently asked questions and other videos and information pieces about our “Time to Thrive” emphasis on the website.
Will you join us in our renewed focus on God’s purpose for WCC?