May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You.
May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me.
It’s easy to lose perspective at times. As leaders in the church, especially during seasons of high impact, we tend to resort to competition in marketing instead collaboration in outreach.
We work hard for the catchiest series or sermon theme.
We send the biggest, most attractive mailer.
We drop, hide or scatter more eggs than anyone… ever.
We insist on pureness of motive to reach the lost and marginally connected.
However, we invest in coolness of method as we evaluate every other church’s plans against ours.
Emotionally, we are in pursuit of “winning” Easter in our community.
So the challenge for leaders may be to pursue uniqueness over difference, by losing Easter, yet reaching people.
A deep understanding of identity is more valuable than a shallow analyzing of practice. By the way, confidence is much more attractive to the unchurched or dechurched than difference. A secure calling beats an insecure comparing.
Knowing “who we are” and then collaborating, can fuel celebration.
Knowing “why we are different” because we are comparing, can foster separation.
Maybe it’s time to name your uniqueness instead of claim your difference. Starting to do so may be easier than you think.
Begin by asking God, in humility, and a small group of trusted leaders:
- What makes us who we are, because of where we are? What are the unique needs and opportunities where God has placed us?
- What makes us who we are, because of who we are? What are the unique capabilities and resources that God brings together in us?
- What makes us who we are, because of what we are called to accomplish? What particular focus most energizes and animates our leadership?
Uniqueness finds it’s firm foundation in the synthesis of those 3 questions.
Then apply these discoveries to the sermon you are about to preach. Rethink the messaging on your next mailer through this clarity lens. Plan your next community outreach event in light of this deep understanding.
Truth is, comparing and copying is much easier than identifying and innovating.
However, God is glorified and disciples are made in our community when we choose, as Jesus prayed, collaboration around the Gospel instead of competition for attention.
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