Friday, April 14, 2006

The Purpose Driven Church, No. 1

As part of my involvement with my church, I serve on an administrative body called the church council. At our most recent meeting on Wednesday night, we began using Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Church for a monthly devotional start to our business meeting. A couple analogies that Rick Warren made I found to be thought provocative.

He noted that just as it is natural for a child to grow so it is natural for the church to grow. When a child doesn't grow, we look for what is keeping him from growing. So it should also be with the church. If a church isn't growing, we need to look for what is keeping it from growing. Growth is natural and a part of how we are made.

The other analogy relates to surfing. Rick Warren writes:
Surfing is the art of riding waves that God builds. God makes the waves; surfers just ride them. No surfer tries to create waves. If the waves aren't there, you just don't surf that day! On the other hand, when surfers see a good wave, they make the most of it, even if that means surfing in the middle of a storm.... Our job, like experienced surfers, is to recognize a wave of God's Spirit and ride it. It is not our responsibility to make waves but to recognize how God is working in the world and join him in the endeavor.
So in other words, the challenge for the church is to have eyes that see the movements of God and then join God in the movement that He creates.

So these are thoughts I'm pondering on and as we move through the book on a monthly basis, I may have other comments.


Ben said...

I like the though about the church growing... lot of truth in that.

My men's group just finished Rick Warren's purpose driven life. Good book... I am sure Purpose Driven Church is good as well.

Ginnie said...

Interesting that you wrote about this, Tim, because just the other day I was talking with someone about how we can't keep putting "new wine into old wineskins," which is often one of the church's problems. I liked Warren's wave/surfing analogy.

sage said...

I've read the Purpose Driven Life, but not this one. Purpose makes the growth appropriate, otherwise as someone somewhere said, "growth for growth's sake is the mentality of a cancer cell."

Tim Rice said...

Thanks, Ben. I haven't read "The Purpose Driven Life"; but if it compares to "The Purpose Driven Church", I'm sure it gives food for thought. I've sometimes thought that if we in the church lived as Christ lived, we should either attract or repell people. It is hard to be neutral about Jesus if one takes his words seriously.

Thanks, ginnie, for your thoughts. I'm glad you found something of value in my sharing of Warren's thoughts.

Thanks, sage. You make a good point about growth for growth's sake being like a cancer. At the very least, it becomes rather empty.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I've read the Purpose Driven Life and I'm sure this book is a very good book. I very much like the analogy using the waves.

Tim Rice said...

Thanks, abandoned in pasadena. It is good to know what others have enjoyed and appreciated.