MY church vs. the CHURCH

I gotta tell you – I am really struggling with “church”.  And this struggle originates from the inside, out.

My heart beats for the local church.  Thank you mom and dad for instilling into the core of who I am a love to serve the local church.  And for this season of my life, I get to serve her, from the inside out.

From my seat of responsibility, I am a door watcher – watching who comes through the front door (and asking why) AND who walks out of the back (and asking why).  Of course the overriding answer is because the Holy Spirit wills them to walk in (or out).  But it’s my job and gifting to enable both to occur – in through the front door and bridge them to connectedness, and out through the back door hopefully only after they have been given every opportunity to connect, worship, and serve – and then they could make an informed decision whether our church would be their church.

So here is my struggle.

In all of my efforts, strategy, and planning, do I view evangelism as primarily to grow “my” church or to grow “the” church? Put another way, are all that we do at our churches, from the weekend services to the weeknight bible studies, designed to grow OUR church or THE church?

Take a look at some stats provided by Leadership Journal that reveal our collective intentions:

10 Years Ago: Grow “My” Church = 65%

10 Years Ago: Grow “The” Church = 16%

Today: Grow “My” Church = 39%

Today: Grow “The” Church = 44%

That is a significant upswing for those of us who desire to grow THE church, from 16% to 44%.  Looking deeper into these numbers reveal an even more interesting fact: Those churches who have shifted their focus over the past 10 years from growing “my” church to growing “the” church are some of the fastest growing churches in America.  Hmmmm…..

So what?

Ask yourself the question I am asking myself. Does my church exist to perpetuate itself?  Or does my church exist to build the Kingdom?  Not just lip service!  Is there proof (fruit)?  Praise God if so.

If not?

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Frank Basciano on November 3, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Hey Bro, interesting toughts. Try perceiving “my church” as “my congregation”. We are part of “the church”. I think the interesting statistics show a change in the thought patterns of church leaders and God’s people in general, as our culture changes. I think Acts 2:47 (NIV) says it clearly, “…the Lord added to their numbers daily those wo were being saved” Of course, the entire chapter is worth the read. The message is simple, work for the Kingdom and let God prompt those to link up with your congregation those He wants. Keep fighting the good fight of faith!

    Shalom,
    Frank

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