So how do we avoid these mistakes? I asked you in the previous
article to think about that question. I did the same myself. Here
are some of the solutions I came up with.
The first step: SHARPEN THE AWARENESS. Robert
Kriegel, in his book Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers,
dealt with much the same problem. He discussed the importance
of getting people to become “cow-hunters.”
One company was so determined to hunt down and kill the sacred
cows they issued cowbells to every employee. Every time a sacred
cow is identified, someone rings his or her cowbell!
Kriegel mentioned other strategies companies use to communicate
this idea. His conclusion: “The overriding and most important
objective is to create an organization of hunters.”
This suggestion is applicable to the church. We need to find
creative ways to encourage our people to look for “sacred
cows.” Sharpening the awareness concerning these mistakes
that will short circuit our ministry is the first step in avoiding
them. How do we do that?
The second step: BROADEN THE VISION. This addresses
mistake #3: We defend our own turf instead of promoting the
work of the kingdom. That is usually the problem, isn’t
it? Every sacred cow has some people who worship it. Every program
has some people who support it. Every division of the church program
has some people who are involved. These individual programs become
ends in themselves instead of means to a greater end which is
to further the kingdom of God. We need to communicate to our people
a broader view of what we are about.
We need to get our people thinking about what is best for the
church rather than just what is best for them. How do we do that?
The third step: CLARIFY THE FOCUS. Rick Warren,
pastor at the Saddleback Church in California, has written a book
about “the purpose driven church.” Warren suggests
that the church that is successful today is one which is focused
on its purpose. Churches focus on a variety of issues.
- Some churches are “tradition” driven
- some are “facilities” driven
- some are “denominationally” driven
- some are “finance” driven
- some are “program” driven
- We must be purpose driven.
Our specifically stated purpose as a church is “to be a
transformed people who are transforming the world” —
a purpose that has driven us to desire to be an Acts 1:8 church.
That is a global purpose that extends far beyond our own individual
agendas and personal turfs.
We need to sharpen the awareness of our people. We sharpen their
awareness by broadening the vision. And we broaden the vision
by clarifying the focus.