What Drives Us?

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

Every church, every organization is driven by something or someone. And this varies between groups. Sometimes it is clear, but more often it is unspoken. What is the driving force at Singing Oaks? And what should it be?

In many churches tradition is the driving force. They are bound together by their time honored organizational structure, their worship order, and their cultural background. Tradition is not necessarily bad…not until God’s will becomes secondary, not until being comfortable is what counts, not until you hear statements like this: “I know it is not unscriptural…it just makes me feel too uncomfortable,” or “We’ve never done that before.” Then it’s bad!

Other organizations are driven by personality. It could be the preacher or an elder or another with influence. I suppose all organizations are driven to some extent by personalities…for good and bad. The thing is, how can we build something greater than any personality among us? How can we have a church that transcends personalities?

Some churches are driven by finances. We have seen this in corporate America haven’t we? The “bottom line” is the bottom line. All that matters is, “How much will it cost?” And, of course, one should “count the cost”. However, more than one company has been destroyed by that kind of leadership. Obviously money matters, but it’s not all that matters. In business, doing the best job and having the best people is what matters most…do that and the bottom line will show it. Fail to do that; just focus on the “bottom line” and you won’t have a bottom line to focus on. In church this means we shouldn’t ask, “How much did we save?” but “Who was saved?”

Still other churches are driven by programs and events. The danger here is that the church becomes a bureaucracy that values programs over people. And, after a while, no one ever questions whether the program still works. When it comes to discipleship attendance becomes the sole criterion.

Buildings can drive other groups. The philosophy is, “If you build it they will come.” The danger here is that, instead of a building being the means to an end, it becomes the end in itself…and an ego trip for those building it. Instead of the church having a vision the building becomes a substitute for vision.

Relevance is another driving force. “How can we appeal to our culture?” This is an important and necessary question. But again is must not be the primary question. The bigger question is not “How is God relevant to this culture?” but “How is this culture relevant to God?” Otherwise, in our striving for relevance we will become irrelevant! We should be sensitive to our culture but we shouldn’t be culture-driven.

As I look at these driving forces it seems to me that they are all present in varying degrees in every church…certainly every church I have ever seen. What does this mean for Singing Oaks? I hope it means this: that we will not let any of these influences be THE driving force, the final deciding factor in our church life because none of these motivations are worthy.

In the end I think there are 3 questions that are worthy, and should determine our path.

  1. How are we fulfilling the Great Command, to love our God and our neighbor with everything within us?
  2. How are we fulfilling the Great Commission to make disciples by evangelizing, teaching, and baptizing?
  3. Where is the Great God, who controls us, taking us? (What is the Spirit doing among us?)

It is these questions that must drive us. Not tradition. Not personality. Not finances. Not programs, events and bureaucracy. Not building. And not our desire to be relevant and appealing. These things have importance, but only of a secondary nature. And they will not take us where we need to go. However, the right questions will lead us to the right answers. If we ask them constantly, then there is no telling how God will answer them.

Other Posts You Might Like:

Coffee Interrupted - Laurie Templeton

I Wonder as I Wander - Nic Dunbar

Resurrection Within - Dan Cooke

When Night Has Fallen - Nic Dunbar

Created to Do Good Works - Andres Badillo



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McKinney at Cardinal

101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209



Sunday Worship Schedule
9:30 - Worship (English Service)
10:10 - Bible Class (Birth to 8th grade following the Kid's church time until the end of service)
11:00 - Worship (Spanish Service)

Wednesday Evening Schedule
6:30 - Celebrate Recovery

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