Been reading a book. Actually I do that a lot. I generally try to read a hundred books a year. Not because I read fast but because I leak. I need to keep filling my hopper because it gets empty. I don’t get through all of them because I discover not all are worth my time. So some I lay aside. And some I devour slowly because I have to walk around in the rich ideas I discover there.
Let me tell you about one of those ideas I’ve just come across. Here’s a summary: What happened to your Why? Big question; don’t let it get away. It haunts me. Every successful enterprise begins with a Why…it’s reason to exist…it’s unique contribution to it’s community. No matter how successful the project is, the moment it loses it’s Why it begins to self-destruct.
Wal-Mart nearly did that. Sam Walton had a big Why. He wanted a store that sold quality items at fair prices and was good to it’s employees, it’s customers, and it’s communities. Now that he’s gone the word on the street is that the mood has changed under new management and Wal-Mart is having to work harder to maintain market share. Some have suggested that Wal-Mart lost it’s Why.
Let me illustrate another way. If you’re car shopping, which is the better car – a Maserati, a Chevy Volt, or a Honda SUV? It depends on your Why. If you’re looking for a zippy set of wheels to impress the neighbors you might choose the Maserati. If you commute a long distance to work and want to save on travel expenses you might shop the Volt. If your most pressing assignment is to get the kids to soccer practice or haul boxes for the rummage sale, Honda may be your best choice. Depends on your Why. That’s why Maserati doesn’t market much to soccer moms, and, well you get the idea.
So, here’s the question I’m wanting to ask: What’s the Why of your church? When people think about your congregation, what thought first comes to mind? What do they know about what goes on there? Granted, you have a message you want them to hear, but what is the Why that gets them in the door? What is the Why that is unique to your faith community, distinct from the church down the street? Should your Why ever change? What if your Why isn’t working anymore?
This just might be a good discussion topic for your next Board. Or a planning session. Or a passionate time of prayer. (And fasting?) How would you describe your Why and how is it driving what you do? (Respond at the bottom of this blog and let me know what you come up with.)
By Don Jacobsen