A Church can be Looked at Like a Human Form

October 29, 2019

The Word teaches that a church (and really any community of people) can be looked at as being in the human form. One way of describing how a church works is by grouping its activities into “systems”, similar to the various systems of the human body. All the systems interconnect and support one another, but require different organs and tissues and mechanisms to do their special jobs.

There are different ways of defining the systems of a church. The model I am currently working from looks at Washington New Church as being comprised of ten systems. Six of these systems are directly involved in performing the uses of our church. Four of them (at the end of the following list) are “support” systems—they are not the essence of what we do, but rather they work behind the scenes to enable our core systems. Here they are:

Core Systems

  • WORSHIP- Sunday worship, holidays, weddings, memorials, baptisms
  • GROUPS- small groups, youth groups, discussion and reading groups, classes
  • SERVICE- community service, pastoral care, support for people in crisis
  • SCHOOL- K through 12th grade
  • RECREATION- social gatherings and events
  • COMMUNICATION- newsletters, bulletins, social media, audio and video

Support Systems

  • LEADERSHIP- strategy formation and execution, executive decision making, boards
  • STAFFING- recruiting, hiring, managing, both paid staff and volunteers
  • MARKETING – advertising, branding, public relations
  • RESOURCES- fundraising, tuition, bill paying, grant writing, facility upkeep, finance

All throughout September and into October, during our Sunday worship gatherings, we looked at what the doctrines have to say about love, wisdom and use in light of the function of a church congregation. If you missed any of those sermons, I encourage you to give them a listen at our website. (washingtonnewchurch.org/worship/audio-recordings-from-mitchellville/) I am working on having transcripts made from the audio recordings, as well, for those who prefer to read.

In that five part sermon series we observed that everything the Lord does and everything He creates comes in threes: love/wisdom/use, charity/faith/good works, end/cause/effect, substance/form/motion, soul/body/activity, and so forth. As beings created by Him according to this plan, each one of us has three things we need in our lives for a healthy mind and spirit: connection, meaning, and purpose. We need these just as much as our bodies need food, water and exercise. And a primary means by which the Lord provides these three things is the church society.

A church society is a community where people can go to love and be loved, to learn deep truths about themselves, the world, and their Creator, and where they can learn and practice service to other people. We at the Washington New Church will be a successful and obedient part of the Lord’s family to the extent that we fulfill these three human needs.

In October I began the process of looking at each of our ten church systems to see where each one was doing well and where each one was lacking, with regard to how we provide connection, meaning and purpose to the people in our congregation, and to the people in our surrounding community. I have been talking with various individuals, doing my own investigations, and working with the Pastor’s Council on this task. If I have not yet heard from you personally on this subject, I very much would like to. Visit my office, call or text (512-694-9474), or email (Mac.Frazier@gmail.com) me. Tell me where you think we are doing well, which systems are missing parts, what programs need to change or end, and what things need new life breathed into them.

In November we will begin the process with the Board of Trustees of examining our current strategic direction and then putting together an updated roadmap for the coming year or more. Everything you share with me will be an input to that discussion. I think there are exciting and fulfilling things ahead of us that involve some interesting choices, but before I lead in any of their directions I want to be sure I’ve heard from all of you. So please do find some time in the coming week or two to drop me a note or stop by for a visit. Thanks!

Mac Frazier, 2019-10-23

Read more messages from the Pastors