Remember the old adage, of something particularly mundane: “It’s nothing to write home about”?
I’m not sure that people write home anymore, but the principle still makes sense. Some things are worth sharing, some things aren’t.
Which side of that fence is your church on?
Here’s what I mean: when your people are out to lunch, on a business trip, or catching up with their long-lost friends, is there anything about your church they’d want to report? Is there anything so contagious, any vision so compelling, that they feel like they have to speak up, with the same pride that drives grandparents to show off pictures of their grandkids?
It is certainly possible.
For example, the church I attend at present has such a fantastic children’s ministry, I feel compelled to share about it whenever church enters a conversation. I remember at various times during my days in the pastorate I would hear good reports about something big we had underway, and those reports would be coming from third or fourth-hand sources. “I heard you guys were doing that . . .” How did they hear? Who told them?
When things are excellent or compelling, word spreads quickly.
So, right now, let’s do a gut check on your congregation, and your vision.
What is happening right now that is generating buzz? What has people talking? What has people looking for ways to bring up church in a conversation, just so they can talk about it with their friends?
Or, to bring things down a level (life isn’t always quite that exciting), how about this question, posed to someone who is not on your leadership team:
So, what is our church doing this year? What’s going on? What goals do they have?
If the answer is, “That’s a great question, I’ll have to ask,” or “I’m not sure,” you might have a gap in vision (or in the communication of vision).
Here are a few questions to ponder:
- Pastor, what you reaching for, in Christ’s name?
- Who are you serving boldly with the gospel?
- What kingdom goals are being completed right now?
- Who is being trained up for ministry?
- What new ideas are percolating through the leadership team right now?
- How will your church be different in six months than it is right now?
I don’t believe we always need a “shiny object” in the church that is somehow new and improved, and we shouldn’t be worried about generating buzz for its own sake. There might be long seasons of faithfulness required in between “big, new things.” But even then, the goals can be clear. Their connection to the Great Commission vision must be established.
In kingdom work, there is always something we can write home about.
About the Author–Dan Jarvis is a certified strategists with Leadership Outreach and a free-lance writer. He is the editor of Revive! Magazine, a publication of Life Action Ministries. Dan is the author of Commissioned, a book detailing the explosive growth of the local church in India. Dan can be reached at Dan@leadershipoutreach.com.