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30 January 2013

Do You Ask, "Why?"

The favorite question of church leaders should be, "Why?"

I consulted with a congregation several years ago and heard one church member after another recall a time when everyone really knew why things were done a certain way.  Their complaint about the present culture of the church was that leaders were great at quickly deciding who, what, when, where and how questions.  But, though such answers got things done, resulting experiences often left participants feeling untouched or a little empty.  No one knew why.

Do you intentionally ask, "Why?"  When planning an event or a service, do you focus attention of the meaning and passion you hope to inspire?  Does the answer to a why question help you more carefully focus and decide fresh answers to the other five?

Without "Why Thinking," the church can find itself running fast, but spiritually dipping toward empty.  Becoming clear about why we finally choose a topic, event, worship experience, etc. can help us invest our time and talents in something with potential to generate passion and raise the bar for everyone.

We church leaders need to lead in fresh exploration of the whys behind so many of the congregation's long-term practices.  Some practices can be deepened; others just need to go away.

Will we keep deciding logistics?  Of course.  However, let us remember that each person is wondering, "Why am I here for this?" and making meaning the whole time those logistics unfold.



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