It Always Comes Back to Why

Whether you are a new church plant in the pre-launch phase or an existing church a decade down the road, there is always room for improvement, or what we would like to call, refinement.

We had a conversation with a client over the weekend and discussed this specific point. They’re four years into their church plant, have a solid core of sixty families, an audience of 150, but have not seen dynamic growth over the past year. Their internal giving is stable, the pastors are refreshed, but they are just stuck. The pastor we met with wants to get unstuck, but really has no idea how to.

Over the course of the discussion, we talked about the need for other leaders to take the reigns. In any church context, this would be a given, and for him, they are already there. That’s not the issue then. What about outreach opportunities? Well, they are active in their communities and have a focus on the far-from-God in the center of their city. So, there’s something else amiss. We brought it back to basic and asked a simple question: Why does your church exist? The answer was a long-winded, well thought out response, that rambled for over five minutes. While this was fine for the pastor, we need to push back and ask a few questions:

  1. Would the average church member be able to explain why the church was there?
  2. Would the leadership team be able to explain why the church existed?
  3. Would the target demographic be able to explain why the church was there?

It always comes back to why.  

Why is the church in existence? What is the church doing because of the why? How is everyone a part of accomplishing the why?

Once we wrapped the pastor’s head around the why – what – how concept of branding, he was able to articulate the church’s mission in one sentence. Now he has marching orders to go back to his church and help his leadership team instill this refined mission into the hearts and minds of the church.

This brings us to you: what is your why? Are you able to clearly and succinctly articulate the why of your church, or better, are your people able to? If not, then we have an opportunity to refine the mission, and bring everyone back to why.