Focus on a Few Specific Elements
When you look at Cirque du Soleil it becomes very obvious that they have focused on a few elements of a circus and made them THE thing to pay attention to.
You only need to watch a few moments of one of their shows to pinpoint what those elements are. It's very easy to just watch Cirque du Soleil and know exactly what they're all about, know what's important to them. If you've ever seen a show, you'd probably have little problem saying "Cirque du Soleil is all about ________," and be able to fill in that blank quite easily.
Fill in the blank
I think the same should be true with the church.
People should be able to see, hear, read or watch and immediately understand what we are all about as a church.
Whatever our "specific element" is.
Now, a quick disclaimer, obviously as a church our overarching REAL specific element should be Jesus. This isn't exactly what I'm talking about here. I'm giving the benefit of the doubt that the love that Jesus displayed, his teachings, trusting in him is central to all of our teaching, preaching, programs, services, charity work and creative elements.
If it's not, well that's the first problem...
Taking that into consideration, as a church we need to really define what we're all about.
- Are we about changing our political system into one that more aligns with our beliefs?
- Are we about our worship services on the weekend?
- Are we about a small group structure?
- Are we about engaging with our community to improve it?
- Are we about being agents of change to those around us?
- Are we about judgment? And condemnation?
- Are we about love? Compassion? Forgiveness?
This is more than a mission statement, it's more than a catchphrase. It's more than a buzz phrase that then has to be explained further.
This is the core of a church. It's very essence. It is to the point that where people can look at a church, or the Church, and can immediately say, "Oh, they're all about ________."
Because good news, people already have something to fill in the ________ already.
If we don't focus, if we don't plan it out and be intentional about what we are making central to us a church, people will do it for us.
And they'll be right, because their opinion will be based upon observation of what we as a church are doing. And if we're not focused about what we're doing....well....just guess at how chaotic that will be.
I happen to think that if we just allow that ________ to be filled in by itself, we will be very disappointed by what we discover goes into it. Because if we put "nothing" into it, that's exactly what we'll be all about.
So what are we putting into that ________?
Are we being deliberate about putting anything into it? Or are we leaving that ________ up to its own devices? In your opinion, what does the Church as a whole have in that ________?
Make it personal too.
What does your church have in that ________? And when people look at you as a Christ follower, what do they see in your ________? What is it that you are all about?