bits from bob....

Church: Purpose-Identity-Agenda-Renewal

by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Consider the sequence reflected in the title. The church must know who it is before it can find renewal. The church must understand its identity in order to experience genuine renewal. Until the church understands its purpose, it will struggle with understanding its purpose. Any new dream with appropriate goals and structures to support ministry must have as its foundation the purpose and identity of the church. Many churches seek renewal, and struggle with the renewal process, because of the tendency to move into strategies and actions before the purpose and identity are in place.

Every church must struggle with its "identity" statements. Here is a sample list of identity statements that came from a congregational meeting during a weekend consultation.

This church....

  • Shares a heritage of restoration ideals
  • Is part of a fellowship of Restoration churches most of whom are identified as "churches of Christ"
  • Is a community or family where the love of Christ is lived out in our personal relationships
  • Has a strong respect for the Bible as the word of God, believing that it can be understood and must be obeyed
  • Desires to focus on Jesus as the answer to the problems of humanity
  • Is a "believers' church" that identifies as Christians those with personal faith, commitment, and obedience to Christ, lived out daily
  • Seeks to be a place where those whose allegiance or loyalty is to Jesus Christ can find a welcome and spiritual home
  • Focuses on providing a meaningful worship experience as the body of Christ assembles each week
  • Practices baptism for the remission of sins as a believer's faith response to Jesus
  • Believes the church through its members has been charged with sharing the gospel, both locally and globally
  • Is actively involved in taking the gospel to the world, especially through various missions efforts
  • Wants to serve the needs of our community (and world)
  • Shares a great concern for youth-both in the church and in the community, and thus seeks to develop and serve our youth

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    Last updated May 6, 2011