Monday, January 29, 2007
Why Kindness to Go?
When I came to Dayton as outreach director I planned to connect people to the outreach value through a series of Saturday morning outreach events. I planned, pushed the value during services, made flyers, prepared materials, and prayed. When I arrived at the building the day of the outreach I knew I was in trouble. Someone had planned to drill holes in the gym floor for the new volley ball court that morning, only problem, no one told me. Mud, sludge and smell from the drilling was everywhere, my first thought, ‘I could kill these guys.’ My second thought, ‘Lord, what’s up?’ I then quickly prepped another uninspiring room and waited for the people to show up. Guess what? Not one person showed up. Discouraged, I left.
A few weeks later I repeated the exercise. This time my wife was the only person who showed up. Even though Pattie and I had a great time reaching out …I sighed, ‘connecting to the people of the Vineyard isn’t going to be easy’. I knew I needed help and fresh vision.
I’ve discovered an amazing thing, fresh vision doesn’t usually come during zippity do da times when everything good is happening, or when there is positive forward movement and things are good. Fresh vision usually comes during times of crisis.
At times vision is developed when we have hit a wall, when we have to dig deep, rethink and go back to the drawing board. For example: Israel faced a major crisis, the King had just died, What to do?, what to do? Isaiah dug deep, prayed and cried out. Then Isaiah saw the Lord, and was propelled inward to deal with his stuff and into outward-ness as the question was asked, ‘Who will go for me?’, ‘Here am I send me,’ was the answer.
Ask Questions. Wise Leaders Do.
I met with the senior leader and encouraged him to tell me about the history of the church and the people of Dayton. “What motivates Daytonians? What is your outreach history? Tell me about your past outreach disasters, disappointments, or delusions? What do the people like to do? When were the times you sensed the Vineyard hit an outreach home run? How are the Vineyard people moved to action?” He described the people of Dayton, how they like short, sharp events. They don’t like long drawn out situations. They didn’t like small, they liked large. They like serving with energizing, impacting, fun, upbeat, sharp, meaningful action packed vibe, with buzz that reached a goal, that brought a sense of success.