Who’s the Guy in the Bear Suit?

Ok, you’ve got to follow me on this one. This has a point, in the direction of building transformational church ministry, just follow me. My church this morning was discussing the Reveal survey from Willow Resources that I highlighted earlier. The church leadership has learned a huge amount about the spiritual life habits of our church members. Consequently, the teaching team has brought a series on the factors which most significantly create real, measurable spiritual growth in the congregation. A by product gleaned from Reveal is that the focus of the church leadership is as much a factor in creating transformational ministry as the programs, music, sermons, budgets, etc.

My past few posts have been built toward this same underlying question. What is your ministry focus? What is working? What isn’t? Is your focus and your leadership bringing forth effective transformational ministry? I am not posing these questions judgmentally. As a laborer in the field with you, am I creating real change in the lives of those I am responsible to lead?

The teaching this AM included this video. Eight college students are in a small area. Four are dressed in white, four in black. The students have 2 basketballs, one belonging to each team. When the video clip starts, your task is to count the number of times the white team members pass the ball among themselves. OK? Simple task, right? On the word ‘GO’ the kids randomly move amongst themselves. Weaving in and out, the white team and the black team members pass the ball, dribble, pass, spin, pass . . .

You can watch the video here:

The movement’s leisurely, not like the guy at the carnival who is trying to trick you into guessing which cup has the ball underneath it. Slow, steady, one – two – three passes . . . there goes another one. At the end, our congregation agrees that there were 13, maybe 14 passes. Now here is your second assignment. Run the same video, and this time, watch the movement globally. Don’t focus on the black team or white. Just watch the video. Take a minute. View the video again.

Did you see him this time? Did you see the guy in the bear suit? I didn’t either. As a matter of fact, when the pastor asked the congregation if we thought he has run a different video the second time, we unanimously agreed we had been hustled.

The Point

In any organization, effectively reaching the organization’s goals is the result of measuring those factors which most significantly affect the organization’s movement toward the goal. Every organization has a unique goal, around which the entire organization should pivot. This goal is the sole purpose for that organization’s existence. As a ministry, our goal is easily defined.

We are charged with the task of making disciples that will influence the world for Jesus Christ. Our goal is summarized by Paul in 2 Cor 5 17-20, and he outlines 5 strategies for accomplishing the goal of the Great Commission:

  1. Win: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation,

  2. Build: Old things have passed away, behold, all things are become new

  3. Equip: And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

  4. Release: To know, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself . . . and has committed unto us the world of reconciliation.

  5. Duplicate: Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ.

We could break each of these five strategies down into measurable tasks, but this article isn’t about making the plan. It’s about seeing the factors in your organization which affect transformation. We are talking about seeing the guy in the guerilla suit, in order to make the plan that works for your community.

In your day to day activities, what are the factors which directly influence/affect these 5 strategies? How much of your time, and how much of your personal and organizational resources are dedicated to these 5 strategies each week? Are you counting the # of times the team passes the ball, or do you see the guy in the bear suit?

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