I was reading this week about how the phrase “the whole nine yards” came into existence. (And no, it wasn’t from the really bad movie staring “Chandler” from Friends.) In the World War II era the machine gun ammo belts were 27 feet long. When a pilot would empty his ammo belts into a target he would say he gave it ” the whole nine yards”. Did anyone else know that? I didn’t.
I’ve noticed that as I and others have the chance to share the vision and dream of actionchurch certain phrases are quickly becoming part of our vocabulary. We say we want “a little less talk, and a lot more action”. We want our message to be “louder than words”. Lately I’ve found myself using the phrase “inside out” a lot so I would like to “officially” make it part of the “actionchurch vocabulary”.
Inside out- use: “ we want to be an inside out church” A common vision in churches is to build a large organization filled with “ministry opportunities” so that every member will have “a place to serve”. If that’s what your church is called to do, God bless you, we are called to do exactly the opposite! Our dream for actionchurch is to be a lean, efficient organization. We are interested in producing the best possible “weekend worship experience”, with the fewest volunteers possible. I have seen far too many wonderful cub scout leaders, soccer coaches, charity volunteers, and community leaders convinced (by well meaning people) to give up their ministries in their community to take on the “religious busy work” of teaching a class or joining the choir! I believe that the very best work of the church happens outside it’s walls! It is my passionate dream that actionchurch be a place that inspires, prepares, and assists people in serving their neighbors…rather than a “drain” on their ability to do so!
There will be times that we will as a church “gather the troops”! Times when we will ask that every possible person join us in single effort. Our focus at these times will always be on serving our community. (link) We will always strive to make these events worthwhile and memorable enough to be worthy of our “fellow revolutionary’s” taking time away from their families and busy lives. You can also bet when we gather to serve and bless our community…we’ll give them “the whole nine yards”!