When you lose your why, you lose your way.
This is true on so many levels. When you lose the why of your purpose, you lose your way and seek purpose in lesser things. When you lose the why of your marriage, you lose your way and drift into selfishness or cynicism.
When you lose your why in ministry, you lose your way and seek to satisfy yourself with things that do not last. And this is certainly the case when it comes to making disciples. When a church loses its why—when it forgets that its primary purpose is to make disciples— then it loses its way.
The sixty to one rule
A pilot once shared with me the “sixty to one” rule in aviation. If a pilot is off just one degree from his directional heading, he will drift one mile off course for every sixty miles he travels. For example, if I were to fly from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Tampa, Florida, and the pilot was off just one degree from his directional heading, I would miss Tampa by just a little over three miles.
That’s certainly not too far to make a course correction and land in Tampa. But if I were flying from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Honolulu, Hawaii, and the pilot was off by just one degree, I would miss the island by eighty-one miles. That means I would be swimming somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean looking for a runway.
Jesus set the direction.
Jesus set the directional heading of the church when he gave us our mission to “make disciples of all nations,” yet the more the church has ignored his command, the further it has drifted from his intended purpose.
Across America we are witnessing today how the church is off course. Churches are losing their way into doctrinal errors, losing their way into unbiblical social activism, losing their way into cultural conformity on multiple levels, and losing their way into busyness with no result in mind.
And what do we have to show for it? Little life change and few transformed. We have drifted from our heading, and we are paying the price to the point that many churches today would be completely unrecognizable from that of the early church. I have a friend who says, “Jesus started the church the way he wanted it. Now he wants it the way he started it.”
This blog originally appeared at; Why You Lose Your Way And Go Off Course – discipleFIRST features an excerpt from one of their books, The Disciple Making Leader.