Know Your Purpose

In our feature article last week, we talked about how an important piece of sustainability is to know your purpose as a church. One of the questions I asked at the end of the article was, “If your church suddenly disappeared, would the community notice anything, other than the big hole in the ground?”

Ouch! Yet, if you’re not clear on the bigger purpose we serve, how can your community see it?

Here are (yes, you guessed it) some more questions to help you clarify your core reason for being:

  • Where is the energy and excitement in your church?
  • What are your church members most excited about?
  • What do people show up for without you having to remind them?
  • What was the original purpose of the church?
  • What was the rationale for your founders to start this place of worship in this community?

Once you’ve answered these questions the best you can, bring some other voices into the discussion. Walk around your community and interview some key people such as the mayor, police chief, school principal, librarian or the chair of the Lion’s club.

Ask them about the biggest needs of the community. How do they think your church is responding to those? How do they think you could be responding?

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  1. Excellent question, I think if our congregations really begin to realize we can’t be everything to everybody, but we can do what we do in the spirit of excellence, and if we were no longer part of the community they would truly miss the gifts we offered. It’s fnding who we are and what it is that the community is in need of that we can offer.

  2. You’re absolutely right. Knowing who we are and how we can respond to community needs are key for congregations.

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