Thursday, May 28, 2009

Purpose Statement

This Saturday the Steering Committee of Chain of Lakes plus some other invited folks will gather to discern what the Purpose Statement of our new congregation will be. This is a very important day in the life of our newly forming church. I’m excited to see how the Spirit leads us to develop a Purpose Statement.

I have been very clear that the most important task of our new congregation in 2009 is to develop our culture. Please understand what I am saying. This task of developing our culture is more important than gathering people who will participate in our church and is more important than number of people who worship with us when we start weekly worship. We have a unique opportunity at this moment in time to be intentional about what type of faith community we will be. It’s a moment that we won’t have once we start weekly worship.

Our Purpose Statement is the first step in creating this culture. I wrote a short document on my understanding of a Purpose Statement. If you would like to read it, go here:

It’s not a major revelation to any religious leader that working in the church is a grind. The grind of working through relationships and just keeping track of all the details of ministry can be all-consuming. We can get so focused on the operation of ministry that the larger purpose of what we’re doing gets lost. I don’t believe this shift of focus is intentional—it’s inevitable given the task of leading churches. Paraphrasing a familiar metaphor—“we are so lost in the trees that we lose sight of the forest.”

Last week at Eagle Brook I heard Bill Hybels say that without a white hot vision churches run out of steam. I believe this and have experienced this in my ministry.

Without having a white-hot purpose and without being intentional about structuring our ministries around this purpose, we'll get lost in the forest.

I’m praying that on Saturday our group discerns a white hot purpose.

When you are done reading this blog would you take a moment and pray for our Retreat this Saturday? Would you pray that we discern a white hot purpose—something that our community believes comes from God and gives us unbelievable motivation and energy for our ministry. Many people throughout the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area are praying for our Retreat. Please join them. I believe that your prayers can make a difference.

I’m guessing that all of us have had a moment or two in our life when we developed something with a group of people that was very, very special. Think how powerful that moment was. I have the audacity to believe that this moment can come at this Retreat on Saturday. Please pray that this will happen.

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