If the alignment is slightly off it will slowly wear various parts (including tires) to a point of being broken or damaged prematurely.
If the alignment is terribly off the steering is faulty and the ride is not at all pleasant.
Alignment is important.
How well aligned is your church?
Do they share the same mission? Don’t answer too quickly. You might be surprised. Recently myself and four others went to a 10 day conference / retreat. We had know each other for years. We worked in the same organization for years. The question of mission was raised and for next 30 minutes we discovered we each saw things a bit differently.
It is easy to put our own spin on the mission — our own interpretation — and thus get slightly off. The organization still ran. It was running fairly well. But we were slowing wearing out our various parts without really being aware of it.
Aligned in mission — what we are trying to do.
Are you aligned in Philosophy? This is a bit harder to pin down. Philosophy has to do with “how we accomplish the mission”. Does anything go? Is there an overall consistency to the approach? Is your congregation one that approaches things mystically, or more concretely? Doctrine is king — or is it more about the “feeling” or experience?
Aligned in mission and philosophy.
Are you aligned in the language? When you say someone is “saved” — do you all define that the same? “Spirit-filled” — does the guy at the end of pew mean the same thing you do when he says that?
Aligned in mission, philosophy, and language.
How about practical living? Are your fellow congregates in alignment when it comes to defining a Christian lifestyle and how we “do church”. This isn’t to say we all are clones and that we never deviate at all. Alignment means that we will see a general consistency in regard to what is acceptable and valued in the realm of day to day lifestyle.
Aligned in mission, philosophy, language, and lifestyle.
The Body of Christ is a very diverse entity. At the same time there are certain things which must be aligned in the congregation for it to function effectively.
We all define the win (mission) in the same way. We agree generally about how the church is move on that mission. We define our terms in the same way across the board. And those in the world who watch us see consistency in the lives of the believers.