Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mini Milestone

This is the 400th blog ever posted at the Mustard Revolution. Here's what I'm thinking about today.

People are busy. I don't pity or even sympathize with this truth. Sometimes people choose to live in such an unhealthy way to receive attention or to be appreciated or to live vicariously through their children. I don't know, but the truth is people are cramming more and more into their days, their weeks, their years.

So here is how I see this in terms of church leadership. For the last 30 or 40 years or so, the Church has seen this busyness pandemic pile up all around them. People build these 'silos' which consume their time. I have a silo for work, a silo for kids, a silo for housework, a silo for _______. You get the picture. By the end of the day, we've created any number of silos that consume our day, our energy...everything.

But the Church noticed this was happening and the brilliant idea was established to show that the church's silo was the nicest, most important, most rewarding silo to dedicate time, money and energy into. So out comes the church mentality to 'compete' for people's time. Yet what we've found is that in most churches, the silo competition is failing. Churches aren't winning all that often in getting commitment from the people. So some churches said, well, we just have to offer everything in our silo that the people are going to in other silos so that they will choose us. So large churches buy up tons of land and build giant gyms and have basketball leagues, soccer camps, etc. trying to lure the people back to church.

This is backward thinking. Churches with this mentality seclude themselves. Now they say that its open to the community and they do a little half time Bible Study with the kids, which is fine and works sometimes. But ultimately this view suggests that this whole Christian movement is primarily Church Centric...that it all revolves around the church. But the reality is that it is Kingdom Centric and that God is at work around the world...outside the churches often time and we need to open our eyes and join in where He is at work.

This is counterintuitive for a lot of people. If I have a church member that is a community leader, maybe heading up a big soccer program, I shouldn't be thinking, "Wow, I should get him or her to start a soccer initiative at our church." I should be thinking, "How can I encourage, equip and empower him or her to use that position of influence for God's glory to impact a bunch of kids and their parents?

So to recap. This really has everything to do with the future of the Christ movement in the U.S. There are three significant shifts we need to make.

1. From Church Centric to Kingdom Centric...Jesus was about Kingdom of God stuff...The Church should be too.

2. From Attractional Church to Missional Church...It can't any longer be "Come and See our Silo. It is beautiful and majestic!" It has to be, "Go and Be" the people of God to a world in need.

3. From Program Development to People Development...Some churches think that if we just have enough programs to offer...and they are the right programs...our church will go. But Jesus has always been about relationships not systems. Maybe we should try it out.

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