For a person on death row the word “execution” means the end is near.
For a person in leadership the word “execution” means without it, the organization’s end is near.
There are times when leaders (church leaders included) need to pull the trigger and execute a plan. Dr. Gregg Chenoweth, at ONU’s recent trustees’ meeting, quoted an old saying attributed to Machiavelli: “A wise man does at the beginning what a foolish man does at the end.”
It’s all about Execution.
The wise person, on perceiving a problem or becoming aware of an impending issue, will do what needs to be done to soften the problem’s impact. After some reflection and planning, the wise person will quickly and decisively authorize a plan to accomplish the desired solution to the problem or at the very least mitigate its affect.
The fool, on the other hand, becoming aware of a problem will delay, dilly dally, ponder, think, stew, form committees, contemplate a little more and otherwise waste time. Naturally, the problem grows unchecked. Finally, when immediate action is absolutely unavoidable, the fool will act.
What could have been solved easily and quickly is now a life-and-death struggle.
In the life of the church, it’s easy to put off for tomorrow what could be done today. Don’t upset the apple cart, someone might say. Don’t risk it. Play it safe. What will those “paying the bills” think? Don’t take chances. Don’t execute any change until absolutely necessary. I’ve seen a fearful lack of execution on all levels in the church– local, district and global.
Here’s the problem: if we don’t change, we die. (I’m talking changing methods not message). Orthodoxy changes not. Orthopraxy may adjust as culture and society changes. “Why we do what we do” does not change. “How we do it” has to change if we are to remain relevant and effective.
Wonder why churches and denominations are dying? A failure to define and execute a plan to overcome today’s challenges. Thinking yesterday’s methods will work in today’s world is a recipe for tomorrow’s demise.
Paul’s words to the Corinthian church should be ours: “I have become ALL things to ALL people so that by ALL possible means I might save some.I do ALL this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23 CAPS mine). Why the caps on ALL? To emphasize we must reach ALL people, doing whatever is necessary in these challenging days, “for the sake of the gospel.” In other words, we must EXECUTE a plan of action. Try. Take Risks. Maybe fail. Try again. Try again. Try again. Until ALL know.
That’s why I love that CENTRAL CHURCH has taken time to define our Mission and Core Commitments. Our Mission: Connecting People to Jesus. Our Core Commitments: 1) Jesus Changes Everything; 2) We are Better Together; and 3) Be the Best Neighbor.
Now let’s reach ALL for Christ!