I am probably on more church leadership email lists that I really need or want to be on, but most every article I receive has some nugget of wisdom I can file away and use some time. This morning I read one such article, which was around predictions about church attendance patterns. We know the general narrative: people attend less often today, even those considered regular church attenders. This theme has been pointed out in great detail by many, with nary a solution in sight.
Today something caught my attention churches who are more in love with their mission rather than their model with be more successful in the future. Simple, yet so true. The example given was a comparison of Kodak vs. Apple. There was a time when it was unfathomable that Kodak would go out of business, just as there was a time when it was unthinkable that Apple would be hitting it’s all time value high in 2015. The difference: Kodak was in love with its model, even when it was painfully obvious that the model no longer was effective. Apple was willing to stay true to its mission, while adopting new models to carry out its mission.
This is a great lesson for the church. Too many of our conversations center on preserving an outdated and ineffective model. This morning I had the blessing to have different conversations with my friends and co-workers Beth, Sharon, Bryant and Katie around communications and ministry. These were exciting conversations centered on shifting our model to be more in line with our incredible mission. Perhaps my job as a church leader is really focused on helping people fall in love with our mission, a mission centered in the love of God, rather than the model. I truly believe the church can be an Apple, especially when leaders aren’t willing to settle for being Kodak. Doesn’t the incredible Good News of God call us to hold ourselves to a higher standard, one that moves forward in faith?
May you have the courage to pick your mission over your model when faced with this choice.