Sometimes when I ask things of people they say “I may as well help you because one way or the other you’ll get what you want.” I admit I can be pretty determined and I can be doggedly imaginative about achieving my desired results. I don’t think I am alone in this trait. What we concentrate on, what we persevere in, we often achieve. What we count as important gets our attention and our best efforts while things we count less important or things that do not count are left unattended and undone.
The big questions comes then, “What do we count?” “What does our scorecard look like?” In his book Missional Renaissance author Reggie McNeal tells the church that this question last question is vital.
I have been sadly disappointed of late with churches that count attendance and buildings or neatness above missional objectives. In fact churches can be so dominated by their skewed scorecard that they miss God’s activity in their community. This is disheartening!
I come back again and again to Jesus’ mission statement in Luke 4:18 – 19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Surely this and the Great Commission of Mathew 28:19,20 should help the church prepare a scorecard that reflected Kingdom values. But alas it is seldom so! And the church of Christ continues to underachieve because she counting the wrong things.
I have a friend at Street Hope who tells me when I am off course “You need to give your head a shake!” By this he means I am somehow deceived and need re-orientation. I think these words are true for the institutional church. Now more than ever is a time for the church to repent of the fixation on ‘other things’. Now is the time for the Church to focus like a laser on a Kingdom scorecard. Bill Clinton famously had a slogan for his campaign workers “It’s the economy, stupid!” The Church needs a similar focus “It’s the Kingdom, folks!”
Though I am disappointed now, I will not stay disheartened. I choose to focus all the more on my scorecard and with God’s help achieve new things for his Kingdom.