Recent Q and A:
“What are three hopes that you have for the future of your current ministry?” – I was recently asked this for the Q and A section of our state newspaper. Looking back through my answers frightened me and challenged me. What the heck are we thinking!?!?
1. Responsiveness to the needs of people – One of the filter questions we are using for decisions in our church is, “Will this allow us to stay close and be responsive to the needs of people in our community?” I’m hoping that our church can stay outward focused and unselfishly give ourselves away for years to come. I’ve been convicted as a church leader by this question about personal debt – “Do you think about living generously and then remember something you have or want?” Responsiveness and generosity must be a priority if it’s going to be a reality. Anything that keeps us from responsiveness and radical generosity must be eyed with great caution.
2. Reproducible. I hope that more disciples, leaders, ministries, and churches will result. Insisting on reproducibility forces us to keep things ultra simple and stretches our faith. We’re already planning for new expressions of Bridge Church in 2011, in surrounding communities. I’ve been wrecked by Ralph Moore’s question in How to Multiply Your Church – What’s better, a church of 400 taking on overhead, or 5 churches of 80 that can be responsive to the community and quickly reproduce itself?
3. Transformation. A question that I’m constantly asking myself as a leader: “What good is it if our church grows, but the community continues to deteriorate?” Disciples transform the world by responding to the needs and shaping the culture around them. I hope that we won’t settle for anything less than transformed lives and community. One of the things I’m most excited about is multiple dysfunctional family systems that we’re engaged in restoring around our community. Families that for generations have battled addiction, abuse, disease, etc. It’s hard, messy, discouraging at times, but when transformation is your goal, seeing someone sitting in the pew every Sunday isn’t enough. We insist on seeing God glorified in the daily and seeing a new road paved for future generations.
What are your most challenging hopes and dreams?