Clarifying the Win
The last time I took my car to the dealership for servicing, the service technician told me that the wheels needed alignment. He said that when a car is out of alignment, the wheels pull against each other, and it can ultimately ruin the tires, wear out the engine, and waste large amounts of fuel.
Misalignment can happen in churches, too. It usually happens gradually, but if left unchecked, it can wreak havoc on an organization. Each member of a congregation has a mental picture of what they think the church should look like. Without a strong central vision, people will start trying to conform the church to the image of their own picture. They may expect a different style of music, particular elements in worship, or a certain kind of program. Before long, these well-meaning people can begin moving the church in a different direction.
That's why increasingly we need to constantly hold up a clear picture of what the church is supposed to be so that everyone understands what it's not supposed to be. So, what's the overall "win" for Imagine Church? It's impossible to know if we're making progress if we're not clear about our destination. When it's all said and done, what is it we want to look back on and celebrate?
For us, the "win" is really quite simple. It's not attendance or dollars; it's about changed lives. Imagine Church exists to glorify God as we win people to Christ and then disciple them in Christ. We are here for one primary purpose: to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, and everything we do should be dedicated to that end.
In the name of the One who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
Bruce Jones, Pastor and Co-Creator,
Imagine Church of the Carolinas