Does your church know how to do the thing?
That's a regular refrain among leaders I know. It's a frustration. It seems sometimes like our churches can't seem to activate in the most obvious ways. We are trying to offer a contemporary worship service, or trying to run a good mission campaign, or trying to get the website or monthly mailer right and we just can't seem to get there. "I wish my church could just do the thing!"
Of course, "the thing" is often the very best expression of this church activity we have experienced. We remember hearing that praise song at a conference with thousands in attendance, on a world-class production stage with top artists. It sounds a little different in our new gymnasium/worship space played by well-intentioned volunteers.
There are lots of reasons our churches can't always "do the thing." Churches have varying levels of capacity and resources. There are limitations of space and people. There are also limitations of possibility. It's just lack of exposure; so many of our church staff and volunteers have never been exposed to "the thing" at its best. They have no idea what is possible!
Maybe your church isn't able to put on the 800-kid Vacation Bible School with the 60-foot waterslide and firetruck to spray the kids on water day. But you can still do the thing. Every church, whatever size can run a week of ministry for kids that trains the whole church to get down on its knees, eye to eye with whatever child is able to come, to tell them God loves them.
You can do the thing when you really know what "the thing" is. Some churches have full resources and piles of people--they have a responsibility to do the thing to the best of their ability with volume and large impact. Some churches have no resources but full hearts of ready servant leaders--they too have a responsibility. Do the thing. The best you can. For Jesus.
I was deeply inspired by Carey Nieuwhof's recent podcast interview with Danielle Strickland. Danielle is a world-renowned speaker and author who came from a youth of addiction and rebellion to become the leader of the Salvation Army. I'm not going to get this exactly right, but when asked to give a tip to young leaders on how to be as successful and influential as she is, Danielle said don't worry about the big plan--that's God's business. Just do the thing that's in front of you, and love people. God will take care of the rest.
I love that. Just do the thing that's in front of you and love people. Do the thing!
'Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord' - Colossians 3:23