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Community, Cause, Corporation: A Paradigm for Church Leaders

I. Community (Acts 2:44-47)

  • Metaphor – Family
    • Brothers and Sisters
    • 1 Timothy 5:1-2 “Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.”
  • Core Value – Love
    • Philippians 2:3-4 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
  • Roles – Family Members
  • Key Person – Weakest
    • Matthew 25:40 “…Assuredly I say to you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of these, my brethren, you did it unto me.”
    • 1 Corinthians 12:22
    • Bonheoffer said, “The elimination of the weak is the death of fellowship”.
  • How do you get in? Born or Adopted
  • How do you get out? You don’t
  • What is the payback?
    • Safety
    • Security
    • Belonging

II. Cause (Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rich I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”)

  • Metaphor – Military
    • Armor
    • Soldiers
  • Core Value – Battle to be won
    • Enemy to conquer
    • Prisoners to set free
  • Roles – Captain/General
    • Soldier
  • Key Person – Most Committed
    • Most sacrificial
  • How do you get in? Drafted/Join
  • How do you get out? Martyred
  • What is the payback?
    • Rewards/Honor
    • Crowns
    • The Prize

III. Corporation (1 Corinthians 14:40 “Let all things be done decently and in order.” and Acts 6:1-7)

  • Metaphor – Business
    • Vision (Habakkuk 2:2)
    • Strategy
    • Goals
  • Core Value – Effectiveness
  • Roles – President/Secretary
  • Key Person – Most Productive
  • How do you get in? Hired
  • How do you get out? Fired
  • What is the payback?
    • Stability/Advancement
    • For the whole – resources to drive the cause
    • For individuals – raises, cash advancement

IV. Understanding this paradigm can…

  • Provide insight to office relationships.
    • People tend to have a leaning towards one or two of these circles
    • Which circle do you lean towards?
  • Provide insight to predictable problems.
    • i.e. an overemphasis of COMMUNITY…
      • Chris’s 3 personal vows:
        • never talk about money
        • never emphasize facilities
        • don’t fuss over strategy

V. An under-emphasis of one circle…

  • When CORPORATION is untended…
    • You have family attending to a cause
    • You have passion to “do”, but chaos
    • Ministries stay small
    • It’s difficult to make tough calls with family members
  • When CAUSE is untended…
    • You lose momentum
      • No mountain to climb
      • No enemy to fight
    • Ministries become in-grown
    • Energy turned inward only causes internal sourness

COMMUNITY+CORPORATION–CAUSE = A WELL ORGANIZED “LOVE-IN”

  • When COMMUNITY is untended…
    • You exist only to “take the hill”
    • Ministry becomes cold, sterile, unloving
    • People can sense they have only a utilitarian value

3 challenges with this paradigm…

  1. Healthy ministries should have all three circles at work.
  2. Leaders should provide for all 3 circles.
  3. Communication concerning which circle is at work provides an atmosphere of integrity.

VII. How do these circles (people) relate to each other?

  1. They do not overlap = Safe

  1. They do overlap = Risky

                       

The goal of church leaders is to identify the three circles and to function in all three circles in complete harmony.