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What was Accomplished in 2006?

Jan 4, 2007 at 05:38
Category: Leadership Files

By: Steve Hill

"One New Year's Eve I asked my pastor a very straight forward question: 'How many adults came to faith in Christ at our church this year?' The pastor, a very diplomatic man, said, 'I am not sure. I'll have to get back to you on that.' But he and I knew the answer. It was zero.

"I added it up. That year our church conducted 104 regularly scheduled worship services, 7 special services, some 250 adult classes, 600 committee meetings and 1,000 small-group meetings and ran through a $750,000 budget to produce exactly zero new adult followers of Jesus Christ. We gathered. We worshiped. We loved each other. But we produced no crop. Our church was a contraption worthy of Rube Goldberg: lots of sound, motion, fury to produce a tiny amount of fruit."

"Why Men Hate Going to Church" by David Murrow, page 164

 "How do we conceal this scandalous lack of productivity? Some clever churches have simply changed the definition of crop. Churches now judge success by the standards of a family reunion. How many people came and did everyone get along?"

Ibid, page 165

Remember the management truism? Your system is designed to produce exactly what you are producing! You cannot blame your product! If you are not producing fruit then that is a design fault! Some folks ask me to stop talking about systems. Systems are important! Jesus said that new wine must be put into new wine skins!

 And remember another management truism: To do the same things over and over again while expecting a different result is one definition of insanity.

What is interesting is the demand for results when a church gives several hundred dollars to a mission project in the second or third worlds. The unspoken reality is no results, no more money (and that is perhaps as it should be!). Yet that same group will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on themselves without any results and think nothing of it! They have the mentality of a country club which exists only to meet the wishes of its members and have a nicer facility than the club down the road.

The truth is that the church is the only body which exists primarily to serve those outside it! The Master leaves the 99 in the fold and seeks the 1 outside. The Master was a friend of sinners. The Master commanded us to go! The Master commanded us to serve the least.

The truth is that mission connects the church to the Kingdom and to the Master.

No mission? No church!

The history of denominations was summed up by Jesus in this way, "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it." (Matthew 21:43).

Do you want fruit?

What needs to change?

What risks need to be taken?

A friend signs all his emails with "Reward excellent failure. Punish mediocre success!"

Mission is everything!

Harvest Now!


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