Would the neighbors around your church say, "We're glad this church is here," even if they don't attend? If your church relocated, would anyone care? Are we actively reaching out to their friends, neighbors, and co-workers? Do your members show genuine concern for those who don't know Christ?
According to a recent article by Kevin Ford, if you answered "no" to any of these questions, your church has an inward focus that needs urgent attention.
By contrast, a transforming church is one that has a shared focus of mission beyond its walls, regardless of its size, personality, or worship style. These courageous churches help transform people into God's image. They transform the communities in which they minister. And, as organizations, they are continually transforming how they lead, operate, and minister. They are missional, or outwardly focused, in nature.
So what does it take to become a transforming church?
If your church wants to navigate toward a transformational focus, your leadership team will need to implement these steps:
1. Redefine your mission statement to target people outside the walls of the church building.
2. Focus your evangelism and mission efforts largely on your own local community.
3. Help people connect to your outreach efforts.
4. Resist the temptation to be all things to all people.
5. Take time to develop a strategic plan that bridges your church's passions and strengths with the needs of people in your community.
6. Engage a large percentage of your membership in the process of discovering your community and developing your strategic plan.
The paradox of focus is simple. It would seem as though a narrow focus would yield minimal results. In fact, the opposite is true. As the church focuses its resources on doing a few things well, it provides a permission-giving culture for members to follow their calling. Ministry then moves from a few to all members.