In sports the win/loss record determines the success and/or failure of the team. A win is pretty clear cut for most games. If the basket goes through the hoop more times for the highest score at the end of time, the team wins. In golf if the ball goes in the cup more times with less swings, the golfer wins. However, each season of every sport there are teams that redefine their win. The coach may claim that a win for the team is to rebuild the team from veterans to young players. The win may be to end the season with a 500 win/loss record. The win could also be to fill the stands xx% more this year than last year. When the win is redefined the approach is also redefined.
The same can be said of the church. Knowing what we want people to "go and do" allows us to focus our energies on the most important aspects of our ministry. This last week the Elders approved the following "win" for La Habra Christian Church in the coming months and years.
“LHCC is the place for people to come and hang out and be encouraged to take their next step in growing closer to God."
There are a couple aspects of this vision statement I particularly like. The focus is on people. Our Mission Statement has always caused us to think in terms of people rather than projects as we Share Jesus by Caring for People. Peter reminds us that God is not willing that any should perish but that all come to eternal life (2 Peter 3:9). To that end we focus on the crown of God's creation, people.
"Hanging out" may not seem all that strong a focus until you realize that people do not attach to someone or something unless they believe it is worth while. John Maxwell has said, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Creating an environment where people are willing to "hang" around long enough to hear about God in a context they are prepared to accept or reject is critical to our ministry. As we develop our action steps we will want to find multiple ways for people to "hang out" and be "encouraged to take the next step in growing closer to God."
May God continue to guide us on our vision to help people grow closer to God and make a choice to follow His Son Jesus.