I am at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City for their annual Leadership Institute. Over 2000 people from churches and ministries in 46 states and 5 other countries gather to meet, learn, and share ministry ideas and directions.
Church of the Resurrection began 21 years ago with a mission reach “non-churched and nominally churched” people. 21 years in, they are old enough as a congregation to have to deal with the desire toward maintenance as opposed to outreach.
We have this habit as church folk, or as people who follow Jesus, or even as human beings; we get settled into things and methods and practices we are familiar with. For a lot of years, this didn’t matter much for churches – we had this cultural expectation that people would be going to church a a matter of social duty or expectation. Church didn’t necessarily have to matter or make a difference.
Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor at Church of the Resurrection, shared this morning that churches and other institutions in decline turn their focus inward, and this furthers, even accelerates, the decline.
I suspect this is true for individuals, too. Are you focused inwardly or outwardly? What direction is your church focused?
In case you are or your church is heading the wrong direction, remember this (from the opening General Session): God majors in resurrecting dead things – and things headed toward death.