What Skills and Capacities is Your Church Lacking?
If your church is anything like mine, there’s a good chance that your church has lost touch with its community over the last several decades. Maybe your church has forgtotten that God invites us to incarnate God’s love in tangible ways for our neighbors. Maybe you church has learned to focus solely on maintaining the structure of the church itself.
Start by Learing About Yourself
In order to begin to live in sync with God’s mission in your neighborhood, you have to start by learning. Specifically, you need to learn about yourself. Both the leadership of a church and the congregation need to discover their strengths and their weaknesses.
But beyond that, they need to discover what skills and capacities they need to develop in order to be a church that effectively ministers to its community and culture. In other words, they need to figure out what they need to be good at.
We Need a Tool to Help Us Learn
But here’s the thing. In a time of discontinuous change (like the time we’re living in now), no single pastor or congregation has all the necessary skills and capacities needed to effectively reach their communities. As a result, what churches need is some way to discover what they need to get good at.
Churches need to recognize, “We’re not good at this, this, and this. In order to better live in sync with God’s mission in this community, we need to improve in these areas.”
On the other hand, every church has certain skills and capacities that they are good at. How can we discover those, and live into those, and use those talents to help us better participate with God in God’s mission?
The point is this: In order to live missionally, churches need to first enter a process of learning.
My church went through a process of learning that has helped us improve dramatically in terms of connecting with our neighborhood. For us, the learning process began with two surveys: the Mission-Shaped Pastor/Leader Survey and the Mission-Shaped Church Survey.
I’ll tell you more about those surveys and how they helped us in my next couple of posts.
What has your church done to help you learn about yourself?