We live in a time of great change in our world. Many of us grew up in a society that promoted gaining wealth and power above all. It promoted the idea that bigger is better. Unfortunately this infiltrated into the realm of church and religion. The church is often a decade or more behind the society that we are trying to reach for Christ, and I worry that we are setting ourselves up for a tough road, with this regard. I am not saying we need smaller churches necessarily, but I think we need to reevaluate why and how we do ministry.
I have seen a great push in the past twenty years of ministry to local churches and denominations to be run as corporation. The business end of things often weighs against the spiritual and the care of people. Many meetings surround the care of buildings, properties, paychecks, and other business. We can all admit that there is a need of good business sense, but our priority in ministry is and must be The Gospel, and care of people. Peter, when being reinstated by Christ was not called to be a CEO, he was called to feed Christ's sheep.
While many in churches across America promote the "business model" of ministry, society in America is becoming fed up with Big Business. While many may want to simply set aside the people who spent much of last year protesting against corporate America, I think we in the church need to wake up and listen. People are not interested in being a number on our rolls. They are not desiring another place that wants their money. They are not seeking to be an unknown part of a huge conglomeration. They don't need more pressure to grow the corporation.
What people desire is to be heard, to be listened to in their greatest times of need. They desire someone to love them no matter what their past has been. They want to be a part of something that has sincere life changing meaning. The want and need a Savior who can help them through when the going get tough. They want honesty, truth, and hope.
We will always have business to care for in the church, but our priority must be Christ Crucified and Risen, and Loving People. We are not called to become "big business", but "broken hearted" for Christ. May we as leaders learn to follow Christ into the mission before us.