- (To take a risk for great rewards) go for broke
I was talking with a colleague yesterday about her congregation’s ponderings about Shooting the Moon to pay for a new Associate Pastor. I hope we’ll be seeing more of this in the 21st Century Church.
We have many congregations throughout the Mainline Church on the cusp of closing. They are not on the brink of closing tomorrow, perhaps, but decisions they make today will impact where they are in five years. The smart ones are Shooting the Moon for the sake of the gospel.
For example, I know a wonderful church that does good ministry although they are very small. Less than 50 members. They have enough money in their assets to pay a good salary with benefits for a full-time pastor for the next three years. And they are going for it. They are Going for Broke. They are Aspiring to Great Heights. They are Shooting the Moon.
In other words, they are investing the entirety of their assets over the next three years to call a new pastor who speaks the language of the neighborhood (English and Spanish) in hopes of attaining a new identity and new growth.
And if they don’t make it after those three years, they will celebrate their legacy and then close.
Note: They are not putting all their hopes in this new pastor. They are intentionally agreeing to be equipped by this pastor, to partner with this pastor, to work alongside this pastor to be the Church in a new way in their neighborhood. They acknowledge that the pastor is not The Professional Christian. They acknowledge that they are all ministers.
The alternative is to wither slowly. Our struggling congregations seem to feel sad, confused, angry, or stuck – or all the above. My hope is that they might look at their situation and take a leap of faith.
- Take a look at all assets and consider investing all of them.
- Take a look at the neighborhood and call a pastor who looks like the neighborhood.
- Pray mightily for God’s direction.
It takes great faith over great fear to do this. But we have got to step up if we have any energy left in us. In these days especially, there is overwhelming need for Good News. Are we willing to invest everything to share it?