What is the point? Why are we thinking of doing this? What is it we are hoping to accomplish? These were some of the questions another pastor and I discussed this week. We were dialoguing about some things we are considering doing this fall at the church. They are good ideas. They will help people. But we kept wrestling with how they fit strategically within our overall purpose.

Simon Sinek title his TED talk and book with this clarifying point “Start with Why”. I think he is on to something. So often when we are dreaming up new things, starting new initiatives, or trying to change it up a bit as a leader, that the question we can forego or breeze past is the one that will make all the difference. “Why would we or should we do this?” It is a question of purpose. It is a question of mission. This was the core of the conversation the other pastor and I were having, “what is the core mission of the church?”.

“The purpose of every meeting, every program, and every activity of the church is to either help people become disciples or to help them live as disciples.”

John Whittaker

While many Christians, churches, and even pastors may agree with this statement, what is meant by it varies greatly. More evangelistic people, churches, and pastors interpret that as “we must reach the lost, that is the mission of the church”. More maturity focused people, churches and pastors may see that statement and read “we must make sure people know their doctrine, Bible, and how to defend their faith, that is the mission of the church”. However, I think both of those are aspects of, not the actual purpose of, the church. John Whittaker wrote an article challenging and reframing the conversation entitled “Disciple Making is Everything the Church Does“.

I really appreciate Whittaker’s take on this and how he nuances the purpose of the church. Too often I think we naturally lean one way or the other – evangelism OR discipleship. But by reframing them both under “disciple making” one can recognize how both help the church accomplish its true mission. What did you like or disagree with Whittaker on? I’d love to hear from you. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

Until Next Time…

Photo by David Iskander on Unsplash