Finding Our Purpose Again:
“Get The Quarterback”
One of my favorite sayings is “when you find yourself up to your belly-button in alligators, it’s difficult to remember that your original goal was to drain the swamp!”
Translated, it means your effort got so complicated you lost track of why you were in the swamp in the first place. Montgomery-Ward, one of America’s great department stores, went bankrupt in 2000, and the CEO reported “we lost our focus, which was to serve the customer.” A college Linebacker, charged with stopping the run, dropping back in pass coverage, keeping the quarterback contained and so much more, was moved to Defensive End. He told the media “I don't have a thousand things in my mind on every play anymore; my job description now is three words.” When the reporters asked what those were, he said with a big toothy grin, “Get the quarterback.”
Churches are no different. What once was our only job description has become so blurred that most church members couldn't even define the reason a church exists. We have become lost in meetings, committees, politics, personal preferences, who did/didn't get their feelings hurt, arguing about everything from the color of classrooms, to music selections, to the worship design, to who’s in charge of the kitchen and uncountable other wanderings. So many churches have become “all about me.”
Then, you study those churches that are growing, expanding, struggling to find room for everyone, and you have that “Aha” moment: every one of them has a single, clear focus woven through all they are and all they do. They KNOW why they’re there, and it’s one, single reason, undiluted by a myriad of paralyzing bureaucracies. They KNOW what their purpose is and the congregation is committed to that one focus and making it happen. That purpose is to simply “create an environment that draws people in and introduces them to the Living Christ.” Nothing else matters. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. It’s all about one thing and one thing only: a commitment to bring seekers in and guide them to a life in Jesus.
John Wesley stood at the beach in England and bid farewell to a ship filled with new, excited Believers, sailing to the young America. He gave them a single charge: “Go offer them Christ.” If more of our churches could somehow remember that’s our ONLY reason for being, then my, oh my, what a difference it would make. THAT’S the reason we’re in the swamp in the first place.