When the Lord was resisting the devil in the desert He said that “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matt. 4:4). Man lives by the Word of the Lord and not by slogans. This is a principle which so important for church leaders to be cognisant of. Their responsibility is not to devise pithy statements which galvanise the church. Rather, their responsibility is to teach the Word.
A church will not grow through slogans, but there will be growth when the wholesome Word of truth is declared accurately, faithfully and in the power of the Spirit. Accordingly, we must be aware that the Word should be presented in a way that the truth comes in a digestible form for people. So in declaring the Word we can carefully craft our words so the Word impacts lives. Philippians 2:5-11 would be an example of this, i suggest.
This all leads us on to consider that the church does not prosper through the contrived schemes of man. This may give the appearance of progress, but in the end it is an empty shell. True progress comes when the church has been built on the true foundation of the Christ who is revealed in the Word.
Without contradicting what I have said, I do feel though, that having “focus phrases” which help give direction to the church can be used acceptably by church leaderships. however, they must make sure taht the congregation knows that such statements emerge from God’s thoughts not man’s thoughts. William Carey’s dictum Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God would be an example of this.
(This post follows-on from my post of June 20th about Mrs May and Leadership – see here)