Throughout my years of pastoring I’ve discovered how good churches are at dealing with questions of how. How can we reach people? How can we update our worship? How can a church have relevant worship? How can we reach the unchurched?We deal a lot with the hows. We are comfortable with the hows. We can have conferences and classes covering the hows. Yet, before we get to the hows, I believe we must first deal with the whys.
David Allen in his book “Getting Things Done” devotes a few pages (63-66) to discussing why asking the “why” question is important. One of those reasons is that it defines success. He writes that everyone wants to “win” but if you don’t know what your purpose is you can’t ever “win.” By asking “why” questions we can begin to understand our purpose.
I realize that many churches have purpose, vision and mission statements, but during the creation of those statements we don’t really ever deal with the question of “why.” Instead, we write words that sound good, look good, but don’t ever really transform our churches.
Perhaps the first question to ask is, “Why do we need a vision statement?” and then move on to questions such as “Why are we here (as a church)?”, “Why am I here?” and “Why has God brought me to this church?”
Some other questions: Why do we meet on Sundays? Why do we meet at the times we do? Why do we come? Why has God called us here? Why do we have the ministries that we do?
If everything is up for negotiation creativity and innovation can take place. The whys can lead to the hows. We will deal with the hows eventually. …and when we do we will know why.