Just take a minute and list in your mind all the ministries of your church. Preaching, worship, music, Sunday school, youth ministry, etc. You’d probably have a fairly long list. Got all of that in your mind? Good! Now, think of “Why?” I mean, why do you do all that stuff? Be honest now, no fudging! When you have answered that why question, you have the mission or purpose of your church. Some would probably argue that the mission is something else, a phrase in the worship folder or a plaque on the wall. But really, isn’t the answer to the mission question what we are now doing? I mean, if that stuff isn’t about your mission, why are you doing it?

Now think again about all those ministries. Where are they focused? There are three possibilities. One, they are for us. Did you know that 80 – 90% of churches in the US are either plateaued or declining primarily because everything is focused on us, an inward focus. Two, it could be that the ministries are focused on the people who are not here yet. Most churches would not tolerate such a focus. So, three, they could be focused on doing both–on us, and on those who are yet to come. But in this scenario, who would get priority? In these churches, the priority would be on those who are not here yet. But you still do ministry for those who are there. The principle here is powerful. When unchurched people, those who are not there yet, are given priority the church begins to grow.

Now, to what extent is your church focused outward, to include those who are not there yet? The honest answer to that question will tell you a lot about the growth or lack of growth in your church.

Now I suppose the question is, should all churches grow? Well, let me tell you, I have a five-year-old granddaughter….Oh well, that is the subject for another time.

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