After hearing Jim Collins talking about principles of greatness at the 2006 Global Leadership Summit, I've been turning over in mind the idea of great church. I've preached about it, thought about, even blogged about it! Just recently I revisited it as I thought about where we are at this point in time with respect to our vision and purpose.
Once again I found myself wondering aloud about the church as I prayed and reflected. Once again I found myself using the language of greatness. I even wrote the following definition which some of you will recognise if you've read Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life.
A great church is built upon a great commitment to the great commandment and the great commission.
It seems to me that whatever style of church you are and whatever core values, mission statement and purpose you have, if you're going to become a great church the statement above must be true or becoming true for you.
What, by the grace of God, we're trying to build at Cotton End is a relationally based, Biblically taught, contemporary styled, relevantly involved community of faith. We want to be effective, influential, growing, disciple-making and caring.
The tough part is that when you cut through all the nice phrases and words, you need a strategy that is clear enough so that everyone can see where you are going, and flexible enough to change and adapt as you discern more clearly the precise call of God at any given time.
Perhaps these too (discernment and adaptability) are hallmarks of a great church.
I'll keep thinking and reflecting and exploring, hope you are doing so too.