Vision Thoughts – Building a Winner
2015 Annual Meeting FCC Kearney
Sunday November 15, 2015
I wanted to take a few minutes this evening to share some things that I think are very important to talk about as we’ve come together to wrap up another year of ministry and begin to look ahead to the new year.
The first thing I want you to know is how much I appreciate the opportunity to be here and the trust that you’ve place in me to lead this household of faith.
Thank you for your patience with changes that we’ve made over the past year and four months. Thanks for the encouraging words and for praying for me. Thanks to all of you that work hard behind the scene to make many things happen that others never know about or notice.
There is one thing that I want you to know.
Although I am bi-vocational and am employed outside the church, I am always thinking and praying about our future together here at First Christian Church.
As I think about our future together – I can’t help but think about the joy many of us share together the past two summers with the Kansas City Royals and their sensational season that led to their first World Series Championship in 30 years.
As I shared lunch with one of the members of our new board a few days ago, we talked about the process and the time that it took to put this winning organization together and that it did not happen overnight.
David Glass hired Dayton Moore as his general manager in 2006. How many times did I hear on sports talk radio that Dayton Moore didn’t know what he was doing? The Royal’s had wasted enough time with this guy and they needed to move on to better and brighter minds.
Did you know that Dayton Moore interviewed for the General Manager’s job with the Boston Red Soxs in 2005 and withdrew his name from consideration?
Dayton Moore had a huge challenge in front of him in 2006. To take a baseball franchise that hadn’t had a winning season in years, let alone made the playoffs and turn a perpetual losing organization into a winning organization.
He had to fire two managers.
Most of you couldn’t even think of the two previous managers names so I will help you, Buddy Bell and Trey Hillman.
Dayton Moore shook up the entire organization. He limped along with what he had to work with. He went back to basics and the genius of player development. The Royals returned to the idea of building great teams through developing players and leaders in talent and teaching them about the Royal’s new culture and adopting a winning attitude. When handed the World Series Trophy, Dayton Moore talked about watching the winning along the way and at every level and all the way to World Series Champions.
There were plenty of critics of manager Ned Yost.
There were people that probably were unhappy with the Royals when they let Billy Butler go at the end of the 2014 season.
Winning creates enthusiasm. Soon the seats are filled and people are excited and want to be there every chance they get.
Everybody loves a winner. 800,000.00 people crowded in to downtown Kansas City to join the celebration of winning. The same thing is true in ministry. Building a winner doesn’t happen overnight.
Change will be required. There’s no place harder to effect change than church. It’s not just this church.
What I loved about the last game of the World Series was the fact the 25th guy on the bench that hadn’t played all series delivered the game winning hit.
That’s the kind of team we have to build here at First Christian Church. Doing whatever it takes to deliver to help the team.
Just like Kansas City Royals fans, sometimes the past was all we had to celebrate.
Andy Stanley is famous for saying…
When your memories outnumber your dreams, the end is near.
My dreams for First Christian Church of Kearney far exceed from memories.
Some of you have a long history with this church. What I know about you is this…I’m absolutely convinced that we all want the same thing. We want this place filled with people and a buzz of excitement and enthusiasm.
We want our facility filled with young families with children. We all want to be a part of a winner.
We love it when we can proudly wear our team jersey. In ministry, it’s all about proudly displaying the name of Jesus and not our name.
While there is no “I” in team – there’s also no “I” in church.
While we all have the same goal in mind, how we get to this new enthusiasm and culture is where the challenges and often the disagreements meet.
In ministry winning begins with prayer.
I encourage you to pray.
Pray for me.
Pray for our leaders
Pray more – complain less
Be faithful in attendance – be consistent in being here. Others determine how important what we’re doing if people care enough to be here.
Be faithful in giving – increase your giving
Watch for opportunities to invite your friends and family
Be a servant – join the ranks of the WIT crew.
WHATEVER IT TAKES
Practice what we teach.
We don’t get better if we don’t practice and learn how to adjust our techniques.
Think more about the future and less about the past. We won’t be able to see our future clearly by looking in the rear view mirror.
We will have to work on player development and train new leaders that will learn to train new leaders who will train new leaders that will have the vision to carry on the winning tradition.
More change is on the way.
If nothing changes – nothing changes!
Definition of insanity – Doing the same thing expecting a different result.
When it happens – let’s all remember we’re working to build a winning atmosphere and culture that people want to be a part of.
When you hear complaints and when you are ready to complain – think about the work it took to build what all of loved and enjoyed this 2015 baseball season watching the Kansas City Royals win a World Series championship.
Winning teams are not built overnight but they can be built. It’s my prayer that together one day we will look back on this night and remember we all threw in to build a winning ministry that would make a difference in people’s lives in Kearney and beyond our city limits because we led people to trust God.
Craig Groeschel started a church in his garage in Oklahoma City, OK that God has blessed to make difference in people’s lives all over the world.
Craig wrote a book entitled – It.
In the preface of that book are these words…
Some ministries have it. Some don’t.
Most churches want it. Few have it.
When a church has it, everyone can tell.
And when one doesn’t…everyone can tell.
It is always unique. It is always powerful. It is always life-changing.
It attracts critics. It is controversial.
It’s hard to understand but it’s impossible to miss.
What is it?
I don’t know.
But here’s what I do know; if you’ve ever been part of ministry that had it, you knew you were a part of something special. In other words, you knew it when you saw it, the ground seemed to rumble. Everyone hears about it.
It was an awesome work of God that couldn’t be contained, couldn’t be harnessed, and couldn’t be explained.
People do check out an it-filled church.
For those that experience it – life is different.
They’re changed. They’re passionate.
They’re excited and they want everyone to know about it.
Without a doubt, it is a gift from God, who is its only source.
But I believe that God makes it available to anyone who wants it. I believe he wants to give it to you and your ministry.
Join with me in praying “it” happens here at Kearney’s First Christian Church and it begins now.