Many pastors and leaders know that one of the biggest sources of conflict and decline in long-established congregations is the lack of a clear sense of purpose and direction. Not being clear is quite costly for congregations. Without direction and purpose, most congregations deteriorate into social clubs where participants compete to get their individual wants and preferences met.
The good news is that many congregations have successfully taken on this challenge. It takes time and sustained attention to this work, but the rewards are enormous. My colleague David Brubaker has made some concrete suggestions in his article “Who are We and Why are We Here?” Congregations that shift their culture and grow in vitality focus on fulfilling their core purpose. Successful congregations keep the main thing the main thing.