by John Wimberly
As a consultant, when I first meet with the leadership of a congregation, I ask them a straightforward question: “What is your congregation’s primary purpose, your driving reason for being?” Usually, the response is halting, filled with qualified statements, and includes a laundry list of things the congregation does. The exchange leaves me and the leaders with one clear conclusion: they aren’t sure what their primary purpose is. They have purposes. But not one, clear, driving purpose.
I can receive this response even in congregations that have recently gone through a strategic planning process. They emerge from the planning exercise with goals and strategies. But a clear, passionate sense of purpose? Too often, it is missing.