Missional – Institutional

All churches start with the passion of a person or group of people. They are excited about the opportunities and sometimes approach the impossible with a can-do attitude. They face lots of problems and often overcome them. This is the “Missional Church” – the church that starts with a mission to reach people with the Good News of Jesus Christ and will not be deterred from that task. There are discouraging times along the way, and there are setbacks every now and again. But the leaders and the members who stick it out know they are doing what God wants them to do.

And then, almost without exception, every Missional Church hits a roadblock. They buy a building, and that structure frequently stops the Missional Church in its tracks.

Too often the Missional Church becomes the Institutional Church. There is now something to protect, a debt to pay off, a place to focus resources, a building that consumes more and more financial and personnel resources. Left unchecked, the Institutional Church takes away almost all of the passion of the Missional Church.

I’m not saying church buildings are bad—far from it—but there must be some moderation. I am saying that the church must not lose its initial passion for people, but it should never let that energy be redirected toward bricks and mortar.

I celebrate the Missional Church and encourage it. I just want that church to never lose its desire to keep the main thing the main thing. And in church, the main thing is always, always, always PEOPLE. So, buy a building, make it a nice one so that people will come, and then find ways for those who come inside to then go outside to minister to others. Never believe that a building, an institution, is the endgame. It is a tool, not an institution.

Lead On!