One of the most important questions a pastor and a church can answer is, “What is our business?” (This is true for anyone.)
About my Father’s business…
I’m not sure many pastors have taken the time to answer this question. And yet, to not know what business you are in is like the CEO and Board of Directors of McDonald Corporation stressing out over the price of tea in China.
The reason McDonald’s is a long-term success as a restaurant chain (McDonald’s is three times more profitable than Subway, the second largest fast food restaurants) is that they stay focused on their business. Visit any of their locations, go to their website, or read their annual report to their stockholders and you will have no trouble determining what business they are in.
You may not like it, but they’re not trying to solve global warming, the trade deficit with China, balance the Federal Budget, or resolve any of the many other important, and not so important, issues out there. They just serve fast food…but they do it extremely well; that’s the business they are in.
Pastor, what business is your church in?
I’m not asking you if you’re busy. I’m not asking you if your people are friendly and your facilities clean and appealing. I’m not asking you if you have a great music, youth and children’s ministry. I’m not even asking if you have a great mission’s program. All of those can be worthy endeavors, but they only matter as they relate to your business.
The business world is littered with the tatters of once great companies like Kodak, Radio Shack, Circuit City, Toys-R-Us, Blockbuster, Pan Am, Polaroid, PaineWebber, Enron, Sears, and J.C. Penny who lost their way and no longer exists or are barely hanging on.
Unfortunately, that describes far too many churches as well.
And one more thing, when finding the answer to the question: What business are we in?
Don’t short-change yourself with some flowery spiritual lingo that means mostly nothing. Do the hard work of finding the specific correct answer for you and your church.
If McDonald’s is not spiritual enough for you, look to Jesus. As early as age twelve he understood that his mission in life was to “be about his Father’s business.” A careful review of his life and ministry will validate that he refused to be side-tracked from that, and I’m sure he expects nothing less from his ministers who represent him today.
The ONE THING for today: Spend the necessary time and effort to answer the question: “What business is my church in?” And then spend the rest of your time leading and managing that business well.