Monday, June 20, 2016


In navigation, the term reckoning, as in dead reckoning, is the process of calculating where you are. To do that, you have to know where you've been and what factors influenced how you got to where you now (speed, course, wind, etc.). Without reckoning, you can't chart a future course.  Brene Brown, Rising Strong
Sometimes I think organizations get stuck. They get stuck where they are, unable to move forward, unable to solve problems. I believe this situation can be attributed (for some groups) to two things: they don't know why they are where they are, and they can't articulate a goal for the future.

In churches, we might sit in a meeting and bemoan our problems, and talk about the glorious past, when we had to put chairs in the aisles. If we try to consider why we are where we are now, we talk about population dropping in the community and how we don't do things like we used to do them. If we try to create a picture of where we want to go, it might range from going back to where we were or just not dying.

Frankly, neither one of the visions of a church is very exciting to me. We can't go back to what we were, and we can't convince people that a church that is "just trying not to die" is going to have a life-changing impact on their lives.

So what can we do? I think we have to enter that dark place of analyzing why we are where we are now. We don't want to do it, but there is no way to know where we are unless we do a reckoning - a calculation of the factors that influenced where we are now and how we got there.

And then we have to create a God-inspired vision of what the church will be. Where is God leading us? What is our call as a body of Christ? I think the last thing Christ would have stated as his vision for his life on earth would be, "I just don't want to die." 

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