There is a reason why people don’t seem to be on the same page: because they’re not.
This is why I’ve had to say hundreds of times over, “THIS-IS-A-CHURCH. WE-ARE-A-SINGLE-BODY. WE-HAVE-ONE-MISSION….NOT-MULTIPLE-ONES.”
In other words, “We need ministry alignment. How can we be members of the same Body, functioning as a whole, unless we are going in the same direction, pursuing the same goals? If we don’t pull together, the health of PCC will slowly deteriorate. In time it will wither and die. We cannot let that happen.”
I wish I could say that this church alignment stuff is easy to pull off. It’s not. Some people love to operate independently with total autonomy, so it’s not easy for them to focus on the bigger picture and put their energy into the wider church. Neither is it easy for me to insist they do.
Here’s how things usually go wrong: We launch a new ministry and tell the leader, “Go build a single-adult ministry, build a recovery ministry, build a married couples ministry. Have fun!” Everything starts out good in the beginning and they are having a ball. But over time mission drift sets in and they get headed in a direction that is dramatically different from the church at large. Although they are engaged in a worthwhile ministry, they fail to move the people in their groups toward the main life of the church and the goals we have agreed upon.
I’ve reached the place a few times where I have ran out of patience, trying to be calm and rational, waiting for hold-outs to come around. At a critical point, after months talking about church alignment, I have said, “I’m through talking about this. The future of PCC is hanging in the balance and you’re pulling us in the wrong direction. Get on board with what we’re doing, or move out. I am determined to go to the mat over this.”
That’s the day when some people stop carrying pictures of me in their wallets and I am removed me from their Christmas card mailing list. But I have no regrets. I make no apology for being decisive. When the future of our church is hanging in the balance I will not sit idly by while people continue to do as they please, taking us deeper and deeper into mission drift.