A local church is an organization designed to do something.
Patrick Lencioni in his book The Advantage argues that an organization has to have a purpose that is ultimately about making the world a better place.
I find myself struggling with a way to clearly articulate the purpose of the local church that fits Lencioni’s description.
What comes to mind right away are the official United Methodist mission statement and John Wesley’s description of the purpose of his movement. I’m not convinced either of those is particularly useful for us.
John Wesley’s purpose at the very least needs new language, but, as much as I admire Wesley, I don’t think his purpose statement is fitted to a local church that will not have the high discipline and narrow focus of the early Methodist movement and that is no longer located in a culture that takes universal Christianity as its default setting.
The official mission of the United Methodist Church — make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world — is too vague. It also might actually be more about how we accomplish our mission that what our mission itself is. I’ve never been sure.
So, how does the local church make the world a better place?
Here are some ideas that are little more than brain storming. I’m not sure they are any good.
The church exists to …
destroy the works of the devil.
welcome every person into a living and growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
help you become the person God created you to be.
create a colony of heaven on Earth
Add you own.