As West Edgecombe Baptist Church celebrated its 75th anniversary this past homecoming, we focused on the past, present, and future of the church. I had the privilege of speaking to the future of the church. We (all of us) are looking for ways to celebrate our heritage within the church and are looking for ways to be innovative in our approach as well. When I think about the future, I believe that churches that love their model more than their mission will die.
At WEBC, we just redefined our mission and are working towards making this mission the center of our church. Love God, Love Others, Serve the World. When I look at the future of the church, I realize that some will die. The difference will be between those who cling to the mission and those who cling to the model.
When the car was invented, it quickly took over from the horse and buggy. Horse and buggy manufacturers were relegated to boutique status and many went under, but human transportation actually exploded. Suddenly average people could travel at a level they never could before. The mission is to travel. The model is a buggy, or car, or motorcycle, or jet. Look at the changes that have taken place in recent years regarding how we get music, books, and even photos.
What once took several items of technology can now be held in our pockets known today as a cell phone. The model always shifts .... moving from things like 8 tracks, cassettes and CDs to MP3s and now streaming audio and video. See a trend? The mission is reading. It's music. It's photography.
Companies that show innovation around the mission (my personal favorite Apple - team iPhone:) will always beat companies that remain devoted to the method. Think about this .... 20 years ago did you and your family own a Kodak camera? What about today? Do you still take pictures? Kodak loved their method over their mission and refused to change. Our mission for the church remains the same - Love God, Love Others, Serve the World ...
Is your model holding your church back from reaching your mission? Even in the dark world we live in today, there's a generation out there hungry for the word. Need proof? Check out Passion City Church where they will house over 70,000 students ages 18-25 for Passion 2020 in Atlanta, GA. And there are other movements out there that prove to us that the need is still great.
So I ask you again, Is your model holding your church back from reaching your mission?
West Edgecombe Baptist Church