When I arrived at Ridge Church, one of the spoken goals was to become a church like 1st Methodist in Hammond. As I understood that to mean, it was to be a church that was taking the lead on issues in the community --- a church that the other churches looked to for guidance and direction. A church that was leading the way, and not lagging behind.
While 1st Methodist in Hammond is no longer that type of church --- Ridge is. There is no greater form of flattery that imitation, and as I drove past another church in town I saw on their sign that they were starting up a after school "open gym" type of ministry. I think that is great, but we have been doing it, and doing it well for 3 years now! That is just one of many signs that Ridge is THE mainline protestant church in Munster today. HOWEVER!
I feel a sense of fatigue at Ridge Church right now. The "workers" all seem tired. Statistics have shown time and time again that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. The same, unfortunately is also true in giving.
Whenever there is that sense of fatigue we are left with two choices. The first choice, and the one most commonly chosen, is to pull back, retrench and do nothing. Unfortunately, you don't stand still --- you fall backward. The second choice is to re-evaluate what you are doing and why you are doing it and reclaim the mission, vision and values of the organization.
So what is the purpose of Ridge Church? "Traditionally," the mission of the church has been to save souls for Jesus Christ. And often "saving" is defined very narrowly to mean, saving from HELL and into HEAVEN. Is that the mission of Ridge Church?
Instead of answering this question myself, I want to pose it to you. What is the purpose of the Church? And are we doing that at Ridge Church? Of course, I have a whole litany of answers to that question, and I will share them in a future blog, but I want you to take a stab at it. (By the way, the staff will wrestle with this tomorrow at our staff meeting.)
The second question follows from the first: what are the most important things that we must be doing to become what we believe we are supposed to be.
I am looking forward to hearing your comments.