Over the years a common phrase I’ve heard in the institutional church is “This is our DNA”.
This usually refers to how a local church body does things, or the specific practices they…well…practice.
Many times this “DNA” isn’t so much about the DNA of Christ, but is more about the DNA of the senior pastor, the DNA of the denomination, or a combination of the two.
Look…I get what the phrase is trying to communicate…it’s trying to communicate what culture has been established among a church body. And to some degree this is inevitable. Depending on your nationality, race, and more, there will inevitably be a type of “culture” (or DNA) that develops that reflects that.
However, as Christian’s, our command was to go and make “Little Christ’s” NOT make “Little us’s”.
We weren’t commanded to go and gather everyone who shares our personal DNA or our denominational DNA and make a church out of them.
We were commanded to go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit AND (key point here) teaching them to obey the commands of JESUS – not obey the commands of the pastor or the denomination (Matthew 28).
That said, I recognize that the pastor (and to some degree the denomination – I guess) has a responsibility according to Ephesians 4, along with apostles, prophets, evangelists, and teachers FOR ONE SOLE PURPOSE; to equip the church to do the work of the church (e.g. go make disciples) UNTIL (this is important) we attain unity in the faith, knowledge of Jesus, maturity, and the fullness of Christ.
Later in verse 15 it says that we are to “grow up in EVERY WAY into him who is the head” that is…into Christ (Jesus).
In other words, the only DNA we should be concerned about reflecting is the DNA of Christ.
Is it in us?
Are we seeing that DNA being shared in others (e.g. disciple making)?
If we see more of our pastor in us than we do of Jesus, we might be chasing the wrong DNA.
That’s not to say our pastors are bad people, but they aren’t who we are called to be like.