"It feels like we are stuck!"
"There just doesn't seem to be any common vision . . ."
Every preacher has heard comments like these at one time or another, sometimes by the member who types out his or her frustrations and drops them in the offering plate (sans tithe). Sometimes they're left unsaid, but are expressed, instead, by conflicts and that nastiest of fights - the "church fight."
Reality #1 - There is nothing more exhilarating than the church of Jesus Christ accomplishing the mission of Jesus Christ. Seeing lives changed, marriages restored, bonds being loosed and destinies changed are the oxygen in ministry!
Reality #2 - There is nothing more frustrating than the church of Jesus Christ standing still. Unmoving. Stuck. Missionless.
When the church isn't moving, it has been my experience that the church is soon fighting. Movement is critical to church members being able to work together in harmony. Soldiers too long in camp invariably end up fighting one another. But put them into battle and their purpose becomes singular and makes an impact.
Jon Cook, the technology director at Great Lakes Christian College sent me the link to a YouTube video that illustrates this reality:
Robert Gonzales wrote about the video in his blog:
If you place 32 metronomes on a static object and set them rocking out of phase with one another, they will remain that way indefinitely. Place them on a moveable surface, however, and something very interesting (and very mesmerizing) happens.
The long and the short of it: metronomes that are on a static surface will never sync. But metronomes on a moving surface will eventually find a synonymous rhythm.
Christians in a static church will never sync either. But get the church moving - behind a unified mission - and eventually the church experiences extraordinary harmony.
Our church's Youth Pastor, Chad, told me something when he joined our team five years ago. He got it from someone else; I'm sure he told me who, but I've long since forgotten and just attribute it to his genius now. He said, "Either the church is on a mission, or the church is the mission." Put in the context of this video: the church on a mission experiences synchronization, but the church that has become the mission - that is, the static, unmoving church - is one of cacophony and discord.