What it means to be “a winner in this world has always been interesting. I have a college friend who’s “done very well” since our college days and at this point, he is a multimillionaire. I asked him once why he continued to want to make more and more money and he said something about it being a game that he’s still trying to win – and win definitively.
Good for him.
During these pandemic days “winning” has special significance.
- Are we winning when we have the Personal Protection Equipment we need in hospitals and other venues?
- Are we winning when we land the last roll of toilet paper in the store?
- Are we winning when we’ve finally come up with a schedule for computer use for our school-aged kids and their working-from-home parents?
- Are we winning when we find a wine store that delivers?
I could make a case that Jesus tried to make losing the new winning. But more than that, Jesus was all about vulnerable people winning. (Note The Sermon on the Mount.) And this is our calling as human beings – and especially as people who claim to follow Jesus. We want love to win. We want resurrection to win.
We want “the least of these” to win.
Winning churches – if we can use that term – are congregations with a positive impact on their communities in the name of Jesus Christ. Winning churches are the ones that:
- Feed the poor AND also work to eradicate systemic poverty so the poor can feed themselves.
- Include the ignored, the vulnerable, the unseen AND also work to dismantle racism, sexism, ageism, and every other kind of ism that negates someone’s inherent worth.
- Build vital community AND promote relationships that nourish souls.
Winning in the 21st Century Church is not about church size or bank account size. It’s about the size of our imaginations and our willingness to let God’s Spirit direct us.
A lot of us are tired. Those organizing virtual church are working behind the scenes way beyond their job descriptions. But there is renewed energy in knowing that we are making a life-giving impact.
Final thought: Spiritual Winning is never about getting our way to fulfill our own agendas. Take note church leaders.
Image of church backpack program to feed food insecure children.