observations and readings about church ministry ideas, challenges, solutions, and trends
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Your church may be inwardly focused if ...
By Thom S. Rainer
Any healthy church must have some level of inward focus. Those in the church should be discipled. Hurting members need genuine concern and ministry. Healthy fellowship among the members is a good sign for a congregation.
But churches can lose their outward focus and become preoccupied with the perceived needs and desires of the members. Dollars spent and time expended can quickly become focused on the demands of those inside the congregation. When that happens, the church has become inwardly obsessed. It is no longer a Great Commission congregation.
In my research of and consultation with churches, I have kept a checklist of potential signs that a church might be moving toward inward obsession. No church is perfect; most churches will demonstrate one or two of these signs for a season. But the real danger comes when a church begins to manifest three or more of these warning signs for an extended period.
Dr. Pat Ford joined Church Partnerships of LifeWay Christian Resources in 2007 after 35 years of ministry in church, university, and seminary settings. He can be contacted at 832-725-4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed on Twitter at @patford.