How does the church make the world better?

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.

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3 thoughts on “How does the church make the world better?

  1. I am blazing my way through Dietrich von Hildebrand’s memoirs of European Catholic resistance and acquiescence to Hitler. It reveals a church ambivalent, intimidated, deluded, duped, but sometimes discerning and courageous in the face of an evil contagion. Wherever there is the Church (even in dismal garments of abuse and compromise) there is Christ. When the days are evil (as ours surely are, even within the church), that’s what counts.

  2. Worship God in spirit and in truth, and to worship God with all our beings and our whole lives.

    Make disciples, teaching each other to observe what Christ has commanded us.

    To help one another grow in sanctification and into entire sanctification through mutual accountability in perfect love.

    To minister to those who are truly the least of these, those who cannot help themselves by themselves, and who may not be able to help us in return, at least not directly.

    To love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, and our neighbors as ourselves.

    To transform our world as we see others transformed because we are allowing God to transform us and re-create us in His holy image.

    To proclaim and glorify Jesus Christ in all we are and do, whatever our calling.

    To lead people to Jesus Christ and His salvation, forgiveness and freedom from sin through repentance and faith.

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