Staying on Mission
Pastor Chad Cocran
New Jerusalem Praise & Worship Center, Louisiana
Having served the Lord in various fields and capacities (including living on the mission field for several years), I would like to give you a few guiding principles that have helped me stay focused on the Lord’s purpose for my life and ministry--especially during this critical time that we are facing right now.
KEEP THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING
The ultimate purpose of the Church is to fulfill the Great Commission, both locally and around the world. But within that overarching theme, there is room for different methods and applications for accomplishing that purpose. In fact, Ephesians 3:10 tells us that the wisdom of God is displayed through the rich variety found within the Church. And so, for each of us, the methodology of accomplishing this mission will look a little different. Regardless, we must be able to focus our energies and activities around accomplishing the individual mission that the Lord has assigned to us and finding clear and concise ways to communicate this mission to those we are leading. Trends come and go. The mission always remains the same.
TUNE OUT THE NOISE
There are a lot of voices speaking to us as leaders today. The voices of our church members, the voices of the media and those outside the Church, and even the voices of other church leaders are demanding our attention. Successfully staying on mission requires being able to “tune out the noise” and focus exclusively on the voice of God and those we trust with oversight of our lives and ministries. When I was a young leader, I was preoccupied with the question, “What is God calling me to do?” But as I’ve grown in my leadership abilities, I’ve found that it’s just as important to answer the question, “What is God NOT asking me to do?” Time, energy, and finances are limited resources that the Lord has asked us to steward for His glory. We must be ruthless in eliminating any activity that diverts these precious resources from the mission that the Lord has called our church to accomplish for Him.
KEEP PUSHING FORWARD
At the NRP National Conference in January, Pastor Keith encouraged us to “keep pushing forward” in the vision the Lord has given us for our individual churches. This requires us to continue to look for ways to improve our effectiveness in accomplishing the mission of our church. As the management maxim states, “What gets measured gets managed.” We must find simple, yet effective, ways to determine our progress and then adapt our methods accordingly. The message and the mission are sacred; the method isn’t. Because at the end of the day, the ultimate question is, “What is the crown that you want to present to the Lord on the day you meet Him?” I want to be able to say that I devoted myself wholly to accomplishing the purpose of the Lord in my generation. I know that’s your heart cry as well.