Thursday, October 19, 2006

A church is not a business, so don't run it like one.

"A church is not a business, so don't run it like one."
I'm sure you've heard this statement before. The funny thing is we tend to use this comment when it's in our favor. There are other times when the church doesn't run like a business and we express that is SHOULD. Hmmmm. But this got me thinking about what the "product" of a church is if it were to operate like a Fourtune 500 corporation. What would it's bottom line be?

What should the final product of the church be?

Incredible worship experiences. Missions trips. Dynamic messages. Impressive video. Creative expression through art. Deep level thinking. Seminary-level Bible teaching. Are these the PRODUCTS the church produces? No. These are methods the church uses. Some are by-products of the real product. So what is the product?

The product of the church is CHANGED LIVES. An irreligious person becoming a fully devoted follower of Christ. Those without purpose in life find purpose in Christ. The addict who quits his addiction due to learning what Christ offers. Becoming selfless when we were selfish without Christ. If you see a changed life, you are looking at the final product of what Christ intends for the church. Well, maybe not the "final" product…because Christ is still finishing His work through us (Phillipians 1:6). We won't be complete until we meet Christ face to face.

Sometimes we, the church, measure our "success" by numberswhich is good. Why did they count the number of people who believed at pentecost? They counted people, because people matter to God.

We seek to become deep (spiritual growth) and wide (number of people growing). Not only deep. Not only wide. Both. A desire to change AS MANY LIVES AS POSSIBLE is a great thing. Changing 10 lives is better than 1 life. The debate then becomes which is better - 1 life changed deeply or 10 lives changed not as deep as one life? How about 5 lives changed a 'medium' amount in contrast? This is where people differ.

The hard part is how you measure changed lives. How many lives have changed? How deeply have they changed? (Sounds like another post to me.)

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