Would it surprise you to learn that every devoted follower of Christ does not agree on every issue?
Would it surprise you to learn that not even every person that attends Effort agrees on everything?
I know, right?
And yet, God has put us together to advance His kingdom. Wouldn’t it be great to know we were all rowing in the same direction?
There will always be differences among us. Some are simply preferences, some are deeply held beliefs, but if we are to be a community – an effective and impactful community for Christ – We need to seek and find what it is that binds us together. So it was to that end that I opened our October Council meeting with an activity designed to get us talking about our identity as a church.
For this first council meeting of the fiscal year, I had asked committee chairs to attend with staff and council. I wanted everyone to see these key members of leadership all together. (I call them the Dream Team, and I think you should, too.) I asked everyone to first consider that we are the body of Christ. Then I drew an amazingly life-like stick figure and asked everyone to answer several questions corresponding to various body parts. I had the group write their answers on sticky notes so each could write what came to mind independently, then post them for the group to see.
Below you will find the questions and the collection of answers in their unvarnished form (You will see some repetition – that’s good!). Feel free to play along and answer the questions for yourself.
Head: What’s on our mind? What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Effort?
Growth, Kris, children/youth, children, family, messy, large church, missions, been through a lot of change, worship, love, family, fellowship
Eyes: How would you like people to see us (perceptions)?
Home, open door, welcoming, loving, loving one another, family, friendly, receptive, welcoming, healthy, best church to attend, family, welcoming
Shoulders: What burdens are we carrying or challenges are we facing?
Acceptance in the community, communications, honesty for desires and expectations, communication, past impressions, healing, reputation, division between two services, youth ministry, baggage from past, turnover, discipleship
Heart: What do you feel passionate about (unique individual perspectives)?
Making sure all are grounded in God’s word, seeing people experience transformation in Christ, youth missions, empowering people, children/youth, reaching children for God, bringing children to the Lord, the underdogs, serving others, loving others, children and youth getting involved in church, teaching, family
Stomach: What fills you up personally(soul satisfaction)?
Hearing the word of God, Bible study & worship & spending time with other believers, peace making, when I have organized an event and everyone had fun, enriching women’s lives, activities with other people, Bible study, cooking for people, serving others, serving others, helping others, worship, seeing the body worship in the Spirit, experiencing Christ
Feet: Where do you want to go as a church (goals)?
Building & equipping & releasing leaders who are on fire for Christ, where God leads, unified body reaching the community, more community involved,, loving and serving the community, more community involvement, be a more Christ centered haven for the community, strengthen church unity and outreach, growing into fully devoted followers of Jesus, growth & happiness & missions & God directed to new adventures, community church, to be the social and spiritual hub of the community, spiritual growth
I see some strong threads of commonality running through these answers, don’t you? So the question that remains is how are we doing? Do our actions and attitudes demonstrate our apparent desire to be a friendly, welcoming, healing place that values kids and family, serves the community, and equips believers? Because when we look like that, we look like Jesus.In His service, Molly