This Is Us: GW+GW=GN
This past week I read an article discussing churches and major church leaders. The thrust of this article focused on influence. The writer bluntly stated two very well known mega churches (and their “rock star” stature lead pastors) which were the two most significant influences in the Christian church universe for the past two decades were no longer such. Other churches, naming two different mega churches (and their “rock star” stature lead pastors), were now the dominant influencers in the Christian Church universe. This transition was attributed to embracing of new channels of media, communication and culture. In other words the previous church leaders had not changed or their “product” was no longer relevantly packaged. Even though I found this article very interesting I came away thinking, “So what?” This article I believe is one of those intended for professional church leaders and pastors much like a business management lesson. Although not unimportant, for me, I am more concerned right now about Us – individual Christ-followers forming the Body of Christ in our community. I am thinking most people in Visalia are not concerned one bit which church mega star is on the rise. So what are people concerned about?
Ancient as the First Century Christian Church is, what people sought then has not changed and the model of touching these souls is still relevant today. Pastor Ed this weekend repeated the mantra Good Works, Good Will and Good News (GW+GW=GN) as he opened the study of the early church in the Book of Acts. Put into practice as a church body and as individuals we can be Jesus Christ’s tools to change the world. At our work places, schools, in public and in our homes a simple act of kindness or generosity (Good Work) freely and graciously given can lead to surprising levels of appreciation by the recipient (Good Will). When sufficient good will is present then there is openness to hear your personal God-story (Good News). Thinking back on the article I mentioned in the beginning I am aware that a seismic change has taken place in media and culture and how “church” can be packaged but the real deal is still relationship. No matter how good we are in using the cultural touch points of the day, if we do not touch hearts one by one it won’t matter much. If each of us does not engage people in relationships we will not make a difference.
I have had no contact with one of the “down” churches in the article but I am quite familiar personally with the second. This church impacts tens of thousands of people directly each week in their locale. There are significantly more people involved in this church’s small groups than attend services on a regular basis. The folks of this church have the mindset that relationships matter and extend themselves to many unconnected to a church home. We are beginning a new season of Connect Small Groups. This is a prime time to invite new people and give them the opportunity to experience Good News personally. This is also a prime time to step up as a new leader of a small group as the harvest is plentiful and the workers few. What act of kindness or gracious relationship (Good Works) will you extend this week? When you do and a positive reaction results (Good Will) will you follow up with your personal God story (Good News)? And if you think of it, let us know because hearing encourages us and builds our courage to go out and do the same.