Purpose Driven Church???

 

What does that mean anyway?

In 1980, Rick Warren a third generation Southern Baptist pastor started Saddleback Valley Community Church.  He became convinced that the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) were driving principles of the church.  He then began to organize his church around the five purposes of the church set forth in those passages.

 

It may not sound radical, but it was.  Warren contended that a church must first look to see what God wants the church to be, and then to organize to get there.  To borrow from and modify a business phrase, it was Ministry By Objective.

 

What are the Five Purposes of the Church?

  • ·        Worship
  • ·        Fellowship
  • ·        Discipleship
  • ·        Ministry
  • ·        Missions/Evangelism

           

My first sermon series as a Senior Pastor in the 1980’s was on the five purposes of the church.  I led that church on a journey to organize by those principles. Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Church” did not come out until 1995.  Though we took different paths to discovering those purposes, God brought us to similar conclusions and directions.

 

My journey is not unique.  The impact of the Purpose Driven approach has been felt worldwide in a variety of churches—large and small, denominational and non-denominational, young and old, rural, urban and suburban, in the U.S. and around the world.  The purposes are biblical and bring balance to the church body.

 

How does it help?

            This approach to lead and manage the church helps leaders to:

  • ·        Discover and implement God’s design for the church instead of depending on “fad” designs.
  • ·        Plan based on what God wants (and rewards.)
  • ·        Validate, empower and use all of the gifts of all of the members.
  • ·        Design an intentional discipleship strategy.
  • ·        Evaluate honestly and objectively.

 

Want to learn more? 

Contact me about attending an Evergreen 101 class where we will look further at the biblical foundations and cultural implications of being a biblically based and culturally relevant church.  mhoyt@evergreenbc.org.