We have two local hospitals close to where I live. Not to mention the scattered medical offices throughout the city. Raising two boys who have spent many hours at the ER motivates me to be aware of the shortest routes to receive medical help. Can you imagine going to the hospital and finding out that their primary purpose is to host social events for folks vs. treat the sick? It would be crazy for a hospital to forget their purpose.
A few years ago Todd and I did consulting for a church in the northeast. The church had a beautiful facility in a highly populated area with multiple staff but had been declining for over 12 years. After an evaluation it was clear the church desired to grow but had lost sight of their purpose. Reaching the lost was not the highest priority. It was clear they had forgotten their purpose.
As a church consultant I have seen churches all around the country who have forgotten their purpose. I like to ask 30 evaluation questions to determine the health of a church. One of the most revealing questions is how many people have come to Christ in the past 10 years? Past 5 years? How many of the new Christ followers are being assimilated into the church? How much of your budget goes to Outreach/Evangelism? What are you doing in the next 12 months to reach the unchurched? How many of your folks have an active heart for the lost? Are people other than the pastor bringing people into the kingdom? Luke 19:10 says For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. This is our purpose.
I love the local church and I love what I do. I am so excited to help declining churches. Any church that is willing to make some changes can reach the lost and they will grow. The key factor is being willing to change and give up control.
“We pray that you will live well for the Master, making Him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more how God works you will learn how to do your work.” Col. 1:10-11 (Msg)