Yes, I mean that. But in a good way. Part of the work of our St. Peter’s Long-Range Vision Team, is to use the visioning methodology called “The Jeremiah Project” created by Agile Church, a consulting organization run by my UCC colleague Michael Piazza. Each of the 30 or so members of our team read Piazza’s book Vital Vintage Church, to help us understand what kind of congregation we are, and how we might thrive and grow. One of the author’s nuggets of wisdom, in my humble opinion, is that the church needs to know its business, and to stick to its business. Piazza writes:
The (church) leadership needs to answer management consultant Peter Drucker’s core question: “What business are you in?” The great management guru was fond of asking that question of everyone in a company, from the board of directors to the CEO to the shipping clerk. He often noted that, while he generally would get congruent answers to the question, he almost always would get the wrong one.
“We’re in the steel business,” or “We’re in the hotel business.” Lawyers were in the law business, and accountants were in the accounting business. “No,” the late Drucker said. “The purpose of the corporation is almost always to make new customers.” This simple sounding concept is at the core of Drucker’s philosophy. In concert with church consultant Dr. Lyle Schaller, Drucker tried to remind us that the church is in the business of making disciples of Jesus. New disciples are our customers. …Reach them and teach them… Yes, building community, serving the poor, worshipping God, transforming society, and confronting injustice are all quite legitimate functions of a vital church. But these functions are all carried out by disciples.
Our business is to welcome and make disciples. I was blessed on Easter Sunday to be introduced to a few new families, who came to St. Peter’s as guests of our current members. Because that’s how it happens. Not through flashy marketing or advertising. Not through yard signs and doorknob hangers in neighborhoods. People come to church, and come BACK, because they are invited by someone they know who already attends. That would be you. If you need some help I remind you of the “invite cards” available for you to hand to friends and relatives, and which are available in our lobby and office. I invite YOU to invite your friends to church. Then we can be Takin’ Care of Business.
Dr. Rich Wolf