In May I posted this (link) about a show I really love, King of Cars. I got an email from A&E Television last week asking me to write another post promoting the new King of Cars DVD set. In exchange they offered a percentage of sales from this link or free merchandise. I think this is a really innovative marketing plan on their part, I’m flattered they chose this blog to be part of it, I love the show…but I still told them “no thanks”! Why? Because the purpose of this blog is to spread the dream and vision of actionchurch, not sell DVDs for A&E Television!
I think this is a good “teaching moment” for us all, so “gather around”. We are blessed to have a very clear and compelling vision for actionchurch. (link) We know we are called to put the teachings of Jesus into action. We know we are to be “salt and light” to York county. In my experience though, good opportunities and good people will always come along to distract you from that vision! As we grow, more and more people will offer us “good opportunities” if we will just do something that is “not exactly” in our vision for actionchurch. They will promise financial support and promotion if we will “only tweak the vision to do this one little thing”. They will say “your church could be so much more successful if only you would “do” or “be” more….”. We will always politely say “no thanks!” Anything that does not fall directly into the vision we have been give is a distraction, plain and simple.
Allow me to speak clearly. I have heard pastors say that “people are more important than vision statements, so you have to be flexible to meet people’s needs.” That sounds reasonable, sensitive, compassionate even. Unfortunately it is also pure crap! If you believe you received your church vision “from God” then who is more important than him? If we become willing to “prostitute” the vision and direction of our churches for money we may as well post our church vision on EBay and at least let it go to the highest bidder! Secondly, once we open up the leadership and vision of our church to “the highest bidder” people will actually “want” completely opposing things. One will promise support if you would be “slightly more traditional” while another “bidder” will want you to be “more cutting edge”. How do you decide between competing “interests”? Do you “pick” the one who gives the most money? Or perhaps the one who has been there the longest? It all leads to confusion, distraction, and eventually inaction.
I do not believe we (actionchurch) have the “best vision”, the “only vision”, or even the “correct vision” for doing church! We do however have a vision that we will convey to our community in the clearest way possible. Whether is accepted or rejected, it is not for sale!