Goals, Tools and Other Stuff
Did you notice that these goals don’t include buildings, programs, etc.?
We expect to gather them on the journey. But at the end of the day, they are just tools. The last church I pastored planted a bunch of churches while meeting in parks and public schools.
Our goals are measurable, but none touch on the size of our congregation.
We’re still just a couple of hundred people, but current financial and leadership resources would allow us to launch churches overseas. The words, “To whom much is given, much will be required,” can be scary in situations like this.
We honestly can’t say how large the church “ought to be.” Yeah, we could say how large we want it to grow, but want is different than ought.
We expect to grow, but will not idolize church growth. Jesus didn’t speak of big churches. He did tell us to go everywhere and make disciples. We have our hands full just centering on that broad mission.
If our 2033 goal is to launch a bunch of churches, that reproduce, we will do certain things in 2014. If the goal was to be the biggest church around we might do them differently.
For instance, a bunch of our people are busy launching sports teams. If we want to grow a megachurch, the desire to win games is fascinating. Winning attracts people and is a nice option any day of the week. But, the desire to win can lead to a team made up of expert players who don’t attend our church. (Yes, Martha, this has happened before.)
However, if our focus is on church planting, we need to disciple ballplayers more than we need to win games. In fact, perseverance in a bad season can be excellent training for future leaders … you get the picture.
So, what am I trying to say? First, long-term goals must tie directly to mission. Also, that we do well to link the mission on the horizon to our next steps. Finally, we must be careful that we don’t confuse the possession of tools with goals worthy of our mission.