What’s the mission of the church? We could all probably, if we’re seasoned in Christian doctrine, give pretty good answers. Do our answers match up with the way we live? Do we live as if we believe something else? It will never be found in a church mission statement or on a bulletin board but there is a huge focus on sustaining a Church. No one says “our mission is to keep this church running” because it’s self centered but if we start talking about letting a church “die” people will be up in arms to save it, to sustain it. Brian Mclaren says it much better than I do.
“Could it be that the church is as it is in so many places not because of a lack of effort or a lack of sincerity or a lack of spirituality (or even a lack of money, commitment, or prayer), but rather because our sincere efforts, passionate prayers, and material resources are all aimed in the wrong direction—the direction of self-preservation, self-aggrandizement, self-improvement?”
“So if we are a self-centered church in America, it is because our systems—including our theological systems—are perfectly designed to produce such a church. It has been said that the greatest obstacle to the coming of the kingdom of God is the church, preoccupied with her own existence. Could our preoccupation with making better churches rather than better blessing the world be the heart disease that plagues us? And could our Clause-A theological systems be the high-fat cause of that heart disease?”
If we’re called to be servants to the world we need to really think about what that means and stop serving ourselves.
(Mclaren’s article: http://www.christianitytoday.com/leaders/newsletter/2004/cln40629.html)