Moving Business Pt 2: Please stop herding me

uhaulAs I said in my post yesterday I think the primary business of the church is the Moving Business. We are called to help people move from where they are to where God is calling them. Today I’d like to share a contrast and a prediction. First the contrast.

Moving vs Herding

We are in the Moving Business, not the Herding Business. The Herding Business gets the livestock to go where the leader decides they need to go. There is a pre-determined destination for the herd; the individual isn’t important. The goal is to move as many animals (members, attenders, cattle) from point A to point B as efficiently as possible.The challenge is to protect my herd from poachers, who have a different destination in mind, while moving them closer to my end point.

In the Moving Business the goal is to move the individual toward their destination, not necessarily the destination the leader chooses. Almost everyone has a different destination, so there is no “one size fits all” ministry package. The Moving Business is much slower and more complicated than the Herding Business. The Moving Business is only effective when the herd is broken down into much smaller groups with many more leaders; each individual needs a leader who will help them move toward their God-ordained destination. While connection to the herd is important, these smaller groups are where the actual moving is accomplished.

The Moving Business has huge, untapped potential

Jesus demonstrated the Moving Business approach when he called his first disciples. He pointed them toward their God-given destination as fishers of men and then spent three years teaching them to fish. Although Jesus attracted crowds and taught the masses, his primary focus was moving 12 men toward their God-given destinations. Jesus final act as he wrapped up his mission on earth in John 21 was reminding Peter of the primacy and individual nature of his mission.

John 21:22 (ESV) Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”

The Moving Business has potential for exponential growth. People desperately want to know how to find the way to their God-given destination. Rick Warren sold 60 million copies of “Purpose Driven Live” because of this drive. Joel Osteen’s “Your Best Life Now” addressed the same topic from a different angle. Even “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne appeals to this desire. A church that delivers on the promise to help people discover and find their way to their true God-ordained destination won’t be able to contain the growth.

To see this kind of impact, however, a church has to change businesses. Educating, warehousing, entertaining and herding become secondary, and they refocus their energy and resources on the Moving Business. The key activity becomes equipping leaders to help people discover and move toward their God-given destination. The Moving Business is all-encompassing but hugely rewarding.

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5 Responses to “Moving Business Pt 2: Please stop herding me”

  1. Chris Price January 30, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    My chief reservation is that the church is not a business and we need to be careful with choosing models for building the church. Its so easy for us to see truths such as you are describing and then to find that other facets of church life fit the model though that in itself doesn’t validate the model. Also the herd mentality doesn’t only apply to individuals but we can collectively get drawn into a movement that dictates how we do church rather than relying on the Holy Spirit.

    I’m mindful that Jesus didn’t actually leave the disciples with a model. It took years for the church to arrive at basic principles such as when Paul visited Jerusalem and talked with the elders. The church thrived in what appears to be relative confusion. While I agree with you in principle I think we should be careful to build scaffolding and rely on God to build the church.

    • Geoff Surratt January 30, 2013 at 7:58 am #

      I agree that the church is not a business, but I think there are some transferable principles. A phrase I learned years ago has helped guide my thinking in this area: “No model is perfect, some are useful” The model of a local church as a moving company certainly isn’t perfect, hopefully its useful.

      • Bryan Rees January 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

        Great article both pt1 and pt2….. As a young Lead pastor of a new church it is very easy to get caught up in the latest trends but the reality is helping people move from where they are to where God wants them to be is the goal.

        I also have a business degree and a theological degree and I agree no model is perfect but some are VERY useful!

        thanks for the challenging blog.

        PB

  2. Lynn Richardson January 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    I know for myself I have my standard,image-Jesus mentality at all times. The Holy Spirit gives me the unction to function. The church has to know we are a functioning body with Christ as our headship. There are too many with the calling and too many not connected with God’s voice. Until you are functioning under His authority you need to be in a discipleship program.

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