Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Churches Can’t Afford to Be the Cleveland Browns Part 2

Earlier today I noted that churches can’t afford to be the Cleveland Browns.  It seems that every couple of years they have to “blow the place up” and put a new vision in place.  I note that it doesn’t have to be that way.  Here is the

Our Core Values

Though I’m a Cleveland Browns fan I don’t want to see our church be like the Browns.  That’s why as we have considered “vision” for our church we have tried to keep it simple.  Our vision statement is to be “a church united to enjoy God’s grace and extend His glory”.  That statement isn’t grounded in a fad.  That statement is grounded in creation.  That statement is grounded by the story of God. 

We have six core values that explode out of the vision statement. 

  1. To be a kingdom-focused church—we aren’t “the church” we are “a church” united to enjoy God’s grace and extend His glory.  Therefore we will passionately pursue planting churches, partnering with like-minded churches, and praying for the church universal. 
  2. To be a gospel-saturated community—because we are a “church united” we believe that God calls us out of darkness and places us into a redeemed community of believers.  This community is to be marked by authentic relationships, vital companionship, and mutual edification that is brought together to partner for missions as well as to equip families. 
  3. To practice worship-fueled discipleship—we believe that the fight of faith is to “enjoy God” instead of idols.  Therefore we fight together in our battle to believe that God is the source of all delight instead of the fleeting pleasures of sin. 
  4. To be a hospitable people that offers a refuge for the broken—we believe that we are brought into community with one another and into enjoyment of God solely through grace.  Therefore, we too want to be a refuge for the broken with the hopes of Christ-centered transformation.
  5. To be a people that live sent to our local community and our global community, with the intention of spreading Christ for the joy of all peoples.  As we enjoy God’s grace we are called to extend His glory to every square inch of creation.
  6. To be a community of believers that is radically centered upon the glory of God.  Our fundamental purpose is to glorify God in all that we do. 

What that looks like will look different for every pastor.  But it is our hope that if the Lord calls us home or away that you won’t have to “blow the place up”.  Everybody will know the basic structure and vision.  It just might be played out different. 

As much as it pains me to say this…excuse me while I throw up in my mouth…churches should be closer to the Pittsburgh Steelers than the Cleveland Browns.  Notice what happened when Mike Tomlin took over for Bill Cowher.  The team looked a little different but the basic philosophy was the same.  No need to blow stuff up.  We know who the Steelers are. 

So pastors (and all those doing “vision”), be sure that we you are writing and coming up with will be able to house the guy that stands in your place when either your heart isn’t ticking or it’s ticking elsewhere.  Because churches can’t afford to be the Cleveland Browns. 

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