The most important question every organization has to ask over and over is this: "What business are you in?" Sounds simple, right? Wrong. How would you answer that question about your business, church, school, or family? Our answer is below...thanks for checking it out.
We’re a church trying to get one thing right. Just one. Sounds simple, right? But it’s a big one. Get this wrong, and it won’t matter what we’re right about. It just won’t matter. This is big: we’re not in the church business.
We say this with awareness borne from experience that it’s easy for churches to be in the church business. Let’s be honest: It’s often big business.
But here’s the question that has to be answered: if we’re a church, but we’re not in the church business, then what kind of business are we in?
We’re in the people business. We’re not in the church business; we’re in the people business.
Think about it: What business was Jesus in? Without doubt, the people business. What people caused Jesus the most grief? People who were in the church business.
Later, a follower of Jesus started lots of churches around the Mediterranean. These churches developed lots of problems and Paul became a kind of church doctor. His constant prescription? Love people—see 1 Corinthians 13. Paul was in the people business.
In the last decade, there have been a lot of epic fails in our culture. There is a growing sense of skepticism that any institution – government, education, finance, health care, church—can turn things around. Rather than being a passing idea, this pessimism seems to be getting hard set as a "new normal" in our culture.
Everyone, from time to time, has to recall what business they’re in. For us, we’re not in the church business; we’re in the people business. We do some church things—worship, study scripture, eat meals together—and we’re “all in” when we do those things. But when those moments end, we walk back into our homes, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and communities. What do we do there? We do what anyone does who is in the people business: we care for people, encourage people, help people, pray for people, and point the way to Christ, who is freeing us from all that holds us back.
This is who we are: we’re a church that’s in the people business.