Posted by: sdunnpastor | August 12, 2010


James Nored recently wrote in the Missional Outreach discussions page of his MISSIONAL OUTREACH WEBSITE:

“Jesus said that his mission was to seek and save the lost, serve people, and share the good news of the kingdom of God. As he went about this mission, he healed people, fed people, and met many needs.

But when you look at how he treated the disciples, other than healing Peter’s mother-in-law, it would appear that Jesus focused more on teaching them how to meet other people’s needs than their own. In fact, his call was to “lay down their lives, take up their cross, and follow him.” This call was to service and self-sacrifice and meeting the needs–of others.

In his book, Church Unique, author Will Mancini talks about the problem of having a church that is focused on meeting internal needs and expectations. Note the following:

“On the needs-based slippery slope, leaders are constantly trying to meet people’s needs and expectations within the church. Whether the needs ring of religious consumerism or are legitimate concerns of life and death, the slippery slope works the same. With the leaders’ cruise control set to “react,” thoughtful leadership becomes unnecessary because there is always a persistent parade of needs to be answered. The vision of the church is reduced to making people happy. The reality is that such a church is probably missing out on fulfilling its unique calling and role in the community by trying to be all things to all members.Sliding down the needs-based slope is perhaps the most ‘spiritual’ way of avoiding the hard work of self-discovery.”

His point is that being an internally focused, needs-based church puts leaders in a reactive mode that does not allow them to effectively discover and implement God’s unqiue missional calling for their church in that context. Time and energy alone from dealing with needs and complaints leaves room for little else. I have witnessed this problem many times.

What are your thoughts on Mancini and Nored’s observations?

This article originally posted at THE OUTWARD FOCUSED CHURCH


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