It does not take long upon entering a church to see what it’s values are. The things that jump out at you immediately let you know what the church values the most. A big gathering area with coffee and doughnuts: the church highly values fellowship. A list of Sunday School classes prominently displayed: the church highly values Christian education. I could go on, but you get my point.
How many things can a church rightly focus upon? That is a question I struggle with today. There are so many “good” things to be done, but what are the best things. By using the term “best things” I mean the activities which will give the church the greatest opportunity to reach people for Christ and build God’s kingdom.
My personal opinion, is that there are only a few things that a church can focus on and move forward with. Maybe only one or two “main” things at a time. What these things are depends upon the abilities, passions, and interest of the community, lay persons and the leadership both lay and clergy.
At Andover we have given ourselves to Worship, Sunday School, and to Service. On purpose, we do very little other programming in an effort to focus all of our energies upon these three areas. While I realize that this does not fit for everyone or even every church, I truly believe that it is the best way forward for us. The real key is how do we so “no” to very good things in order to remain focused?