Is the church different than it was just three years ago?
Life is different, so people are different, and we see life through different and changing lenses. That clearly impacts the church.
As culture changes, people see the church differently; they are asking questions and making decisions about church. As leaders, we need to rise above the distractions, love people, and keep Jesus as the unapologetic focus.
The truth and centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ should never change, but it continues to be challenged, questioned, and doubted. That isn’t new. What is new is that other topics are trying to take center stage.
Sadly, sometimes Jesus is dismissed not because of who He is but because of how the church is perceived.
The church is still the hope of the world, but we have work to do. Of course, we do; we’ve had stuff to work on since the early New Testament Church!
Those who lead think about things like preaching the gospel, strategic focus, meeting needs, the power of the Holy Spirit, reaching the lost, and budgets.
Those who attend think about things like, are you friendly, do they fit in, do you care about what they care about, do their kids like to attend, and are you clear about your convictions and beliefs?
The point… those who lead the church think about it and therefore evaluate it differently than those who attend. We need to understand the lens through which people view the church and lead accordingly without sacrificing the mission.
This reality can make church leadership feel like a daunting responsibility.
So I’m writing today with some practical help and guidelines.
I’m writing with a healthy hesitation about making a list to describe something as deeply spiritual and humanly complex as the local church.
- I will unquestionably leave off something really important to you.
- Every church is unique in its expression of the grace of God.
- I’ve written several such lists over the years. Here’s one from a couple of years ago.
So why again?
I sense a prompt to write something fresh for today, and I hope you find it helpful.