The end of corporate Christianity

Without a doubt, one of the most influential books and movements over the last thirty years has been “The Purpose driven Church.” I know I have been greatly blessed by Rick Warren and the work he has been doing at Saddleback. His ministry took shape in Southern California corporate America at a time when business gurus were harnessing the power of the well-written purpose and mission statement to unite and drive the workplace forward. His theory is that all churches are driven by something, money, tradition even the constraints of a building, so why not drive them forward with intentional, biblical purposes. He based everything on the Great Commission and the Great Commandment and as I say it was hugely successful. It tapped into the psyche of his church’s environment and the growth was extraordinary. Other churches have since followed suit. There is now actually a website just with mission and purpose statements on it, the top fifty according to its author.
There is only one trouble with that today. Research has shown that it is a huge turnoff for young people in their teens, twenties and thirties. Corporate mission statements have come with a price, corporations are becoming more and more impersonal and as a result they are suspicious, and rightly so, of a church going down the same route. Millennials are saying, “Enough Already!” They get bombarded by mission and purpose statements five or six days week, they do not need it on a Sunday as well. As one millennial expressed it, we already have a purpose statement, Love the lord your God, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself. We are to love God and love our neighbour, end of story. That is it. Likewise Jesus already gave us our mission statement, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
In other words we are to love God and love our neighbour and loving our neighbour involves teaching them about Jesus, bringing them into the fellowship of believers and helping them to grow in their faith and understanding.
We do not need corporate mission and purpose statements. They will do more harm than good. We just have to live as Jesus instructed, shaping our ministry on his ministry so that his love is free to flow from us to all whom we meet.

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