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church

Community
Putting the Purposes Into
Practice

Session 12
transformation: dream or reality? personal reflections
on churches that practice god’s purposes
Video Clip 1: What does “incarnation and presence” require?
• Why do you think it was difficult for Jerusa to consider going to work
with Project Genesis in Nueva Suyapa, Honduras?
• What does it mean to be present in a community? ink about the
place where you live… do you feel part of the community?
• According to Carlos, what is the difference between working for the
poor and being part of the community and working alongside them?

Video Clip 2: What does “community and reconciliation” require?


• What types of things struck you about the Luz y Vida Church in
Condega, Nicaragua?
• In what ways is the Luz y Vida Church a community?
• e Luz y Vida Church is also part of another community, the wider
community of Condega. What struck you about the statements of the
mayor; the Catholic woman; and Pastor Uriel?
• I what ways did the Luz y Vida Church foster reconciliation in the
wider community?
• Why do you think it is important for the Church to commit itself to
getting involved in the community outside the church, as well as the
community formed by the church itself?
• Have you ever thought of being a pastor of your community and not
just your church? How can you not only pastor the members of your
church, but also the people in your wider community?

Video Clip 3: What does “service and social action” require?


• What is taught in your own church about what a good Christian
should do? Do people act on what they are taught in this respect?
• Pastor Humberto of the Conservative Baptist Churches in northern
Honduras says that when the gospel is put into action we do not need
many words. Why is this true?
• e people who worked on the Baptist Church housing project did
not know each other at first, but now consider themselves friends who
know and trust one another fairly well, and treat one another with
love and humility. How did this happen?
• Oneida tells us that the people on this project have proved themselves
to be true friends to her and have made her feel like a human being.
How does one show friendship and love in a practical, meaningful
way?

Video Clip 4: What does “justice and advocacy” require?

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• Can you imagine yourself being part of the community of Flor del
Campo? How would it affect your daily life, your desire to improve
your living situation, your sense of security, etc.?
• What types of things struck you about the Amor, Fe y Vida Church in
Flor del Campo, Honduras?
• What did you think of Pastor José Tomás Reyes thoughts on the duty
of every Christian?
• What are some of the common criticisms directed at people who get
involved in conflicts that have to do with injustice or politics?
• What are some appropriate ways in which Christians could help
people facing a situation similar to that of Flor del Campo?
• What are some of the dangers in getting involved? Do you think that
these dangers should limit the involvement of Christians in these
problems?

application journal:

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writing a purpose statement: a practical how-to
In what follows we’ll work on writing a purpose statement for your church
– if it doesn’t have one yet. Here are a few things you should consider
before writing such a statement.

What’s the purpose of writing such a statement?


As we saw in our studies, many churches are unclear as to their purpose
and mission, and so they limit what they do to two or three activities, or
they do church without a clear idea as to where they want to go. e
result: ey continue maintaining their activities aimlessly and without
direction. Writing a purpose/mission statement can help your church
succinctly state its reason for being, its vision, and what it wants to
accomplish. Coming up with an effective purpose statement, therefore, is
worth the time and effort.

What is a Purpose Statement?


A purpose statement is what directs, guides, and motivates the members of
your church to work together towards a common purpose and goal and
make a difference. A purpose statement should be more than a series of
high-sounding spiritual words strung together. Instead, an effective
purpose statement gives inspiration and direction to your church. It
should also encapsulate the following points:

• It should be biblical (expressing God’s purposes)


• It should be specific (it needs to be simple and clear and focused)
• It should be transferable (short enough to be remembered and passed on
by everyone in your church)
• It should be measurable (you must be able to evaluate whether your
church is doing it or not).1

It can be very hard to fit statements that are supposed to be long-term


guidelines into a few paragraphs, but that is the nature of your charge. It
is tough but hardly impossible.

Step-by-Step Process to Writing a Purpose Statement


1. Bring together as many members of your church as possible. At least
most of the leaders of your church should be present
2. e second step is brainstorming. Have a whiteboard ready to write
and have the pastor or one of your key leaders ask everyone in the
room to describe in one word sentences what your church is, does, and
wants to become, taking into account all that we have studied so far

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regarding the purpose of the Church. Every word goes on the board;
you will be able to discard the ones you don't like later. After everyone
in the room has run out of words to describe what your church is,
does, and wants to become, you will now select what words you want
to combine into one or maximum two sentences to form your purpose
statement.2
3. Now divide into smaller groups and have each group write a purpose
statement based on the words that were left on the whiteboard. It is
alright that you have several purpose statements at this point.
4. Once all the groups have come up with a purpose statement, have each
share theirs and write it onto the whiteboard. Have the pastor or key
leader then facilitate a dialog as you play with the different purpose
statements, change them, tweak them, combine them until you finally
find and develop one that all of you like and agree with.
5. e last step is: live it.

application journal:
6.

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endnotes
1Rick Warren, e Purpose-Driven Church, 100-101
2 adapted f rom http://www.helium.com/tm/654312/doesnt-matter-nonprofit-
organization

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