Growing up I'm sure you learned the rhyme and the hand motions:
Here's the Church,
Here's the steeple,
Open it up
And there's all the people (Insert wiggling fingers here).
The climax of the prose is seeing the people. I think a lot of people, both outside and inside the Church, think that the purpose of the Church is the people. The Church helps them, equips them, teaches them, comforts them, and all that other positive stuff.
However, a byproduct of that line of thought creates a skewed idea of why people initially get involved in a church. People start to ask themselves, "What can this church do for me? What programs do they have for me? My kids? My family? How is attending or being a member here going to benefit me?" The only problem with that is that Church actually becomes all about you.
So what is the Church really all about?
The Church is really not about the people. The Church is about Jesus and His mission.
If a church focuses on elevating Jesus and His mission, it will create a culture of outwardly focused people without an individualistic mindset. Make sure the mission and vision is raised above everything else. Work hard to constantly clarify and simplify the person of Jesus and His mission of the Church.
I link the thought process to the comparison of an Apple product and a PC.
Apple's philosophy of business is to do one thing, promote that one thing, and convince people that it's the best thing they have ever seen and can't live without it.
PC's approach is to try and promote every single thing they offer in one big blitz and hope that one item on a long list seems appealing to the customer.
As a church, we want to take the Apple approach. We want to preach Jesus, elevate Jesus, sing about Jesus, worship Jesus, and communicate that the hope of salvation that you cannot fully live without is found in Jesus.
What do you think?