Sunday, March 30, 2008

Do What You Do Best!

In The Millennium Matrix, Rex Miller writes, "Although individual churches seem committed to being all things to all people, most businesses learned years ago that such a strategy eventually leads to disaster." (pp. 164-165) Miller notes that smart businesses focus on their "core competencies," the unique and superior skills that define their organization. Someone shared an article with me a couple of years ago on "the Outback Steak-Church." Outback Steakhouse does dinner and does it well. In most locations (Oak Ridge is an exception), they just do dinner. The idea is the same one that Miller articulates--know what you do well and stick to it.

One church cannot be all things to all people. Different churches are more gifted in some areas than others, just as believers are gifted in different ways. Miller's idea is that churches need to find ways to work together and complement one another so that the larger mission of God can be actualized in the world.

What are the implications of this for an organization like the Tennessee Cooperative Baptist Fellowship or the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship? I think it says that we need to stop and consider where we are most gifted. We are not and cannot become a "full-service" denomination, and many churches are no longer looking for that kind of service. So what do we do well? You will have your own response, but I think we do "relationship" well. Now, is that a product? No, but it is something for which individuals and churches hunger. We ARE a "fellowship." Let's build on that strength.

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