Dear Church Family,
I was reading this morning in a devotional I’ve been working through on the book of Proverbs. The passage was about what the “bottom line” should be in business. Should it be profit or the common good? The author explained that the “bottom line” shouldn’t be how much money we can make but what is best for the community. This is true in business but it’s also true in the church. Our church’s “bottom line” is to love God, love people, and make disciples. That’s why we exist and if you are trying to get the church to deviate from that “bottom line” then you are steering her away from God’s plan.
There are many ways we can attempt to steer the church away. We can begin to focus too much on methods and tools that we use to accomplish our mission rather than the mission itself. When this happens we become resistant to change and resistant to try new ways of doing things. It’s so much easier to keep doing what we’ve been doing. I know it is for me. However, we must take inventory and ask ourselves, “What is our “bottom line”? Is what I’m doing disconnected from the mission that God has given us? Is the way we’re doing it helping our “bottom line”? If the mission is the main thing then how would that influence how we would answer the following questions?
- How do I use my time, talents, and treasure? Is my “bottom line” what will profit me the most or am I looking for ways to invest in the mission so that others will benefit?
- How do I respond when someone mentions changing the way we do something? Do I get defensive or am I able to consider the suggestion in light of the mission?
- How do I view the church’s building and budget? Do I see them as the mission or do I see them as tools to accomplish the mission?
There’s nothing wrong with a business that wants to be profitable. But when profit becomes the mission rather than the common good then power and greed begin to drive the business. In a similar way, the church should be a good steward of the tools and resources in her possession and seek do things well. But the methods and tools must not become the mission. If they do, then the church will become a museum instead of an active outpost for the gospel. I want to challenge you to evaluate how you view the church and your involvement in the mission. What is your “bottom line”?
Pastor Ron Jones