When I was a kid playing baseball I learned to practice alignment of my feet, shoulders and butt (yes, I said butt!) to get down on a ground ball and pick up. This allowed me to throw the runner out at 1st base. When I played football my hands, feet and butt (there it is again, fixation for this morning on backsides?) must be alignment to make a tackle. Now that I am an old man, it is the same for playing golf. Hands, feet, and you know what have to be in alignment for the proper golf swing. It is no different for the local church. The reason that the local church seldom makes the play on a ground ball, misses tackles, and can't hit the golf ball out of its own shadow is that we fail to practice alignment. The answer is simple. If we are to make new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world (our only purpose) then everything we do must be in alignment with that purpose. When the Trustees meet we ask "how does repositioning the pews in our sanctuary help us make new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world?" When the women's group meets "how does our upcoming program help us make new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world?" When our finance committee meets, "How does the proposed cut in our budget help us make new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world?" You get the picture.
The healthy church asks that question for everything. Nothing escapes this question in the life of a healthy congregation. We must ask ourselves "Do we practice alignment?" Are we willing to keep doing things that fulfill our purpose and lose those things which do not help us fulfill our purpose? The church is the only organization that does not exist for the benefit of its members. The church exists to fulfill its purpose. Is your church in alignment with making new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world?