Entries Tagged as 'Church'

Family Mission Statement

“Just do it.” “Don’t leave home without it.” “Think Different.” “Reach out and touch someone.” “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”

Can you guess which companies developed those taglines? Some taglines are merely advertising ploys but others are actually tiny snippets of what a company believes about itself. In other words, tag lines are a type of memorable vision/mission statement that can be clearly articulated.

For instance, when the United States Department of Transportation came up with “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk” they appealed to the moral conscious of the consumer. Perhaps one night when a few guys have had too much to drink that slogan will pop in one’s head and they’ll remember that if they are truly a friend then they will not let their friend drive home drunk. Sometimes it can help to have a vision memorized.

The vision of SBC Witness is to encourage Southern Baptist cooperation and faithfulness. Therefore, whenever we post or engage in conversation we have a tag line reminder that the point of this blog is to encourage and cooperate faithfulness to the convention. This vision helps the writers of this blog stay focused. Focus is good because without focus, things become blurry.

Companies for years have understood the importance of vision and focus. Recently, churches have noticed the importance and have followed suit. However, perhaps the most important group of society has largely failed to adopt this practice and that group is the family.

If I were to ask you what your family vision statement is what would you say? Take a few minutes and think about that…it’s kind of hard isn’t it? What your answer will be will determine what you think is the most important aspect of your family’s life. Should your family vision statement be, “To glorify God”? How about, “To live our lives for Jesus.”? What about, “To be ambassadors for Christ.”? Or maybe you came up with, “Love God and love others.”

I’m sure that our family vision statements will differ. Every family is different and is composed of many different personalities. However, if we expect our families to be successful in life then we have to be intentional about doing just that. By giving them a simple and clear vision statement that can be articulated we can help our families maintain focus. But before we can establish what type of vision statement can help make our families successful, we must ask ourselves what our definition of success as a family is.

I am in interested in your responses as well as your family vision statements.

Oprah: What to do with her?

If you have even a tiny part of your ear turned toward secular media then you have heard of Oprah Winfrey’s latest belief system, which, essentially is merely a culmination of her spiritual journey over the years. Because of this there has been a lot of talk about boycotting Oprah among Christian circles. I’m not sure that boycotting is the route that we should take. I think pastors and Christian leaders, among others, need to keep a keen eye on who and what Oprah endorses because of her tremendous influence and power. We need to educate our people as to why who and what she endorses are wrong. Believe it or not, there are many housewives and stay-at-home moms that watch her daily. Take a few minutes to watch this video. The beginning and ending is a little corny but the middle part is well done. After watching it, finish reading this post below the link.

This is what Tim Keller calls our ‘self-salvation project.” (The Reason for God, p.234) The bottom line in this belief system is that people do not want to believe that they are sinful. Additionally, they would like to believe that they can earn their salvation through themselves. This belief shouldn’t surprise us since we live in a culture of “earning.” Most everything that we have “earned” is ours, our society believes. This is especially true to the unbiblical, hard-working, self-sacrificing American person. This belief, and way of life, is completely antithetical to what the Gospel teaches. The Gospel teaches that man is sinful and that we cannot earn our salvation through ourselves – not that man is good and we can save ourselves.

Oprah is essentially teaching what every human being deep down desires – to “put God in our debt” as Keller states, and to earn our way to Him. That way He is in our debt and deserves to give us the sinful desires of our hearts. Oprah’s heresy is not just something that we should casually pass over. It is something that we need to interact with, pick apart, and educate to our people because the core of her belief system slaps God in the face and spits at Jesus while he lays stretched out on the cross.

Here is the question to debate: How should we go about educating our people about Oprah?

One Church, Multiple Campuses?

Multi-campus sites are a hot topic of discussion these days. Is this a new practice? Was it taking place in the early church? Is it wise? Is it doable? These questions and many others are receiving, as you might have guessed, many conflicting answers. 

Dr. John Piper recently preached on the topic. His manuscript can be found here. Wherever you stand on this issue, I think that you will find this article to be a helpful articulation of one view. Looking at Acts 2:36-47, Piper says 

So we have one church of at least ten thousand members. How did they do that? How were they structured? What did church look like?

Don’t misunderstand. We are not operating on the assumption that if we knew the exact structure of the Jerusalem church or the Philippian church or the Corinthian church we would have to structure ourselves just that way. We believe that where the New Testament commands us to do something or implies that it is right to do it in all times and all places, we obey. But there is no command in the New Testament that says, “Replicate all the structures that you see in the early church.” Some are commanded; some are not. Our aim was simply, “Can we see some guidelines? Can we see mandates and prohibitions if there are any, and can we see opportunities and permissions?”

He summarizes his findings, saying 

The point is a principle: If a band of radical disciples of Jesus are able to keep a pilgrim mindset and believe in an expanding vision of the local church, multiplying campuses is a feasible and affordable way to do it under the united banner of spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ. 

Check out the rest of this sermon.

What do you think? Why do you think what you think? Do you know of any other helpful resources out there on the topic?