Two weeks ago we began a new series at The Orchard entitled, "BIG!", where we have dedicated four weeks to casting vision, talking about our mission and asking God to do some BIG things through our church community.
So far, the series has been HUGE and I have no doubt that this could be one of the most significant series we've done in the past 18 months.
Every time I do a series dedicated to our mission I am reminded of how important it is to take time regularly to intentionally focus on our mission and on the WHY behind what we do. For example, during this BIG! series, I've been reminded that:
1. People forget WHY.
It's so easy for people to forget WHY we do what we do! And the minute we forget WHY, we tend to lose our focus and start "playing church." We don't want that...
2. I cannot be afraid to SAY IT!
I'm convinced that the scariest part of casting BIG vision is just getting up and SAYING IT. As a matter of fact, if it's easy to say it I have to wonder how "God-sized" it really is. But when the lips start quiverin' and the stomach feels a bit sick - those seem to be the greatest GOD MOMENTS.
There's nothing like getting up and saying something BIG and immediately thinking, "What the @*#$ did I just say?!?!?!" Yet, those are the greatest moments. No doubt about it...
3. We need to celebrate!
No matter how much we celebrate the stories, accomplishments and progress - IT'S NEVER ENOUGH!
For most of us, the tendency we have is to celebrate strong in staff meetings and other leadership environments WAY MORE than we do church-wide. Unfortunately, we end up missing out on BIG opportunities to gain stronger momentum and "buy-in" to the vision.
I have to remember that some people may be only one story away from doing something huge - through serving, giving, inviting friends and neighbors - or most importantly by taking a step forward in their journey of following Jesus.
Finally ending my day that began this morning at 4:30am. Busy, busy afternoon and evening. I usually NEVER schedule anything for Sunday afternoons/evenings, but these were some important connections that needed to be made. But now.....I'm exhausted and ready to sleep for a long, long time...
Absolutely incredible day today at The Orchard! Still saying "wow..." Baptism video, Nickelback, vision talk, lots of tears... Amazing day. And packed out too. I'll try to post on it tomorrow.
Really, really, really need to disconnect my brain tomorrow. Cell phone will be OFF. (Don't even bother...)
Oh yeah, and for everyone who is patiently waiting on an email reply to emails sent since last Thursday.... You've waited this long, right? So what's another day? :)
I was near a Caribou Coffee this afternoon and decided to slip in for a couple of hours to do some writing. Immediately after walking in I noticed signs all over the place that advertised, "FREE WI-FI!" So being the hi-fi, wi-fi, mobile, on-the-verge-of-being-a-computer-geek that I am, I logged on and immediately noticed that I had to have an "access code." No big deal, right? So I walked up to the counter, got the "access card", logged on and was happily connected...
......until 60 minutes later when it kicked me off unexpectedly and asked for a new access code.
So I went up to the counter and asked for another card and with a weird, sort of hesitated grin the barista behind the counter handed me a new one. As I walked away, I remember thinking, "Ok, that was kinda awkward and I have no idea why..."
Back to work and once again, 60 minutes later - you guessed it! New access cared needed. So I went back up again (with a BIG smile on my face!), and sure enough, the same barista hesitantly (and with a long pause) gave me another card along with a look and a SIGH that said, "Why would you possibly need to work here in this coffeehouse for 3 whole hours???!"
See, this is unfortunate. Because there's nothing worse than giving something away for free and then making people feel like crap for taking advantage of it. Not only that, but if you are going to give something away for free, MAKE IT EASY! I would much rather pay and the process be EASY than have it free with all of these headaches. It's just not worth it...
So I'm thinking... Instead of advertising it as "FREE WI-FI", how about something a little more appropriate - like:
"FREE WI-FI along with FREE attitude and FREE awkwardness and CRAPPY coffee that really isn't that good anyway."
Ok, the complaining is done. If this is as challenging as my day gets, this is pretty good!