Will Mancini, author and church strategist, presented the ideas published in his book Church Unique to an afternoon workshop on Monday, Nov. 13, at the 2017 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting. Mancini, who has worked as a church consultant for 17 years, declared each church is as unique as a snowflake with many different needs.
He began the session speaking on the “cloning conference” epidemic many churches fall victim to. “You can’t go to a conference and cut and paste a playbook. Make your own playbook,” said Mancini.
In order to make a playbook, churches must have a clear vision of who they are as a church and what they wish to accomplish. According to Mancini, many churches love the Lord, but don’t know who they are. They are not perfectly designed to make disciples, but they can be.
This is accomplished by having answers to “the five irreducible questions of leadership,” which form a vision frame. Questions churches may ask include: “What are we doing?” “Why are we doing it?”, “How are we doing it?”, “When are we successful?”, and “Where is God taking us?”
By having defined answers to these five questions, churches are able to have a clear vision of their purpose and who they are, allowing them to connect to the higher, more transcendent ideas of what Mancini refers to as the upper room.
Mancini states that it should be the goal of pastors that all church members “climb the stairs” from the lower room to the upper room where intimacy takes precedence over activity. He said that while the concepts of the lower room are not negative, they should not be the driving force and motivation behind church involvement. Mancini compared the lower and upper rooms to Mary and Martha in Luke 10, calling churches to be more like Mary.
By following these steps and more outlined by Mancini, churches can become places that foster disciples who treasure God’s presence, celebrate their forgiveness and see themselves as God’s children daily.
“Churches are more than loving God and loving people,” said Mancini.