it’s been 2 years since i’ve began working with 2 churches in the “recovery” process.  i’m calling it a “recovery” process for lack of better language at this point & because that’s what we’re really after; a recovery of God’s vision, a recovery of impact in the neighborhood’s we live, recovery of a meaningful mission.

with all those things in mind, and having read loads of material & books & talked with others who’ve been through this kind of shift before there are a couple of things that have come to the surface recently.

when the health of a church begins to show up; and that can be a long process [discovering health], there are some systemic changes that are revealed.  some of those changes happen on their own & some we have to root out.

budgetary health

this is one that has just happened as we’ve found a healthy place to be & fleshed out our sense of mission in the community.  the reason i say “it’s just happened” is that it “happening” is a direct result of preaching straight from the word & allowing the strength of scripture speak loudly to us.  so that correction isn’t one that i’m willing to take credit for.  God & God alone get the credit for that.  so this is A sign, not THE sign of health.  i know plenty of churches that are operating at a budget surplus & are some of the most unhealthy & dysfunctional churches around.  no sense of mission, no urgency for the lost…unhealthy.

getting past “good enough

i’ve written about this once before [check the link above].  but i’ve realized something new.  i was talking with another church leader who had been in a similar leadership position & he said that we were under-going a whole mentality shift.  and that’s really true.  that we are changing the way we think about things and then that affects the way we actually do things.  in order to do new things we must be able to think in new ways.  i then believe that this is part of what paul is talking about in romans 12 when he mentions

“…the renewing of your mind…”

this is a shift that we’re going through, the ability to think in new ways & allowing our minds to be renewed by

“…God’s perfect will.”

at root, at the core of what we’re doing as a church has to be an answer to this question:

do we care more for the way we used to do things, or more for those that may find Jesus through this new way?