We spent the past two days in all-day planning meetings with our senior team, discussing the future at Granger Community Church.
I recounted the following story to them...
About ten years ago, a consultant (we'll call him Bob) was meeting with us at Granger and challenging us to consider changes for the future. We quickly jumped on some of his ideas, and began talking about how to implement the new direction. We were running about 1,500 in attendance at the time.
Bob was surprised at how quickly we were ready to adopt change. He told us how he had spent the previous 15 years at one of the largest and most innovative churches in the country (at that time). He said our openness to change reminded him of their early days when the church was smaller. But this church had grown to more than 10,000 in a short time, and he said it was now impossible to get them to consider any big change. Everything was just too risky, too expensive, or chanced losing too many people. So they would talk issues to death and make incremental changes...but never considered anything significant.
Our senior team then considered: Have we become that church? Are we too afraid to make sweeping changes, if necessary, to catapult us into the future? Are we more concerned about our exposure and the number of churches watching us than we are about figuring out our next step? Do we ask What does God want? before or after we ask How much will it cost? or How many people will we lose?
Our answer was as resounding in its' unity as in its' confidence.
- We will not be the team that is afraid of risk.
- We will not be the team that doesn't listen to the voice of God because we are too tuned in to the whining of people.
- We will not be the team that leads a church so big and flabby that it is impossible to move.
- We will not be the team that misses the wave of God's Spirit because we are conducting a risk management assessment ad nauseum.
- We will not be the team that keeps waiting for the right time to lead the church to the next challenge.
And then we spent the next two days talking about some REALLY radical ideas!