Musings of a Servant

Bro. Archie Miller

Committed to Excellence in Communicating Biblical Truth and it’s Application!


Intention Deficit Disorder

        Southern Baptist consultant, Dr. Robert Dale, has recently diagnosed one of the 21st- century church's most pervasive afflictions. He names it "Intention Deficit Disorder."  I.D.D. (Intention Deficit Disorder) exists in two forms. First, there are those churches who simply don't have any clear intentions, any definable understandings, of who they are or what they are doing. Their only real "intention" is to continue to meet Sunday after Sunday, balance the budget, keep the building in good repair, and put on a good Christmas pageant. The lack of any intention for ministry or ministry outside the walls of these churches is glaringly obvious.
        But there is a second type of Intention Deficit Disorder that is often overlooked. It is sometimes even misdiagnosed as compassion, commitment or concern. In these I.D.D. churches there appear to be many good intentions. They conduct numerous polls and continually canvass members to make sure they are offering programs and providing services that are pleasing to their members. They open their doors to the community, offering the church building as a meeting place for neighborhood groups, educational services or musical events. This type of I.D.D. church might perceive itself as a youth-oriented church and give all its services, programs and staff members a face lift. I.D.D. churches may see themselves as great preaching churches, tailoring their identity around that of a commanding preacher's voice.
        Each one of these "intentions" is admirable. But a church that is caught up in only accomplishing a list of "good intentions" is still suffering a severe deficit. Good intentions are not enough. If they were, why would the road to hell be so beautifully paved over with them? The fact is that the church exists to accomplish one basic intention -- obeying God and God's mandates. Just as the intention of the church cannot be mere survival, neither can the intention of the church be to tailor its presence in order to please everybody.

It is not the intention of the church to make its membership happy.
It is not the intention of the church to make its home community happy.
It is not the intention of the church to make its pastor happy.
It is not the intention of the church to make its youth happy.
It is not the intention of the church to make its choir happy.
It is the intention of the church to make God happy.

        Whatever its "good intentions," the true intent of the church is not to bring happiness. The intent of the church is to "be obedient" to God. Sustained obedience to God, to God's commands and concerns, is what enables the church to be the church. No matter what other intentions any particular congregation may seek to embody, they must first remain committed to God's authority and to the mission God has called the church to serve.

     What is your understanding of God’s purpose and mission for you and for Orcutt Christian Church?  Would you be willing to share that understanding with your Elders and preacher?


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Dr. Archie Miller, D.PTh.



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