· Leadership Development

Is the church a business?


By Herman Lightsey


The church has a business side, but it also has a ministry side.


The business side looks at numbers: How many members? How much money? How many visits? How many staff? How many facilities? How much land?


Sometimes the ministry side is not successful, even though all the numbers say they should be.


The church should be in the business of the heavenly Father (“Go, ye, therefore into all nations).


However, many church leaders have lost sight of God’s “business mission.” Agendas and business plans become “we-orientated” instead of “God-inspired.”


A meeting agenda that focuses on God’s mission would begin with reports of how people are benefiting from the benevolent ministry of the church. You would hear stories of how the church is sharing the “good news” and how the faith community is advocating for marginal people.

While, we still need to be concerned with numbers, this would not be a high priority.


Much of this information came from Reaching People under 40 while Keeping People over 60, a book by Edward H. Hammett. He got me thinking about how we talk about money, number of charters, EMS members, John Wesley awards, staff, facilities, and the number of men attending events.


Let’s ask for God to show us His business plan and for the strength to put that plan into action.


Grace and peace,


Herman Lightsey, president

National Association of Conference Presidents of UM Men



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