Hang around me for more than five minutes, and you’ll probably notice a few of my passions. Besides my walk with Jesus and my family, there are two big ones: running and the local church.
Over the years, I’ve coached runners of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities. Some athletes I’ve loved coaching, while others I’ve had to fire.
I describe the ideal runner in one word . . . hungry. Not ability, not age, not even speed. For me, everything revolves around hunger. The hungry athlete has a relentless approach to what they do. They leave no stone unturned. I most enjoy working with these runners. In fact, when coaching hungry runners, my biggest concern is not holding them back.
Working at Radical Mentoring, I spend countless hours every week working with churches around the country. Including many hours each week browsing church websites. Just like runners, there are churches of all sizes, shapes, and styles.
Recently, I noticed something that hadn’t caught my eye before. I think it stood out because it reminded me of coaching runners.
So many church websites just show . . . well, almost nothing. If it says anything, maybe it reads, “We have existed for years, and this is just what we do.” Many don’t really list a vision or mission statement, and even after poking around for 30 minutes, I couldn’t really tell you anything about them. It seems like they put up a sign reading, “Here we are . . . come if you want to.”
I have no doubt (little doubt) they have a heart for the lost and for building up leaders, but I do wonder . . . do they have a hunger for it? These churches remind me of the runners I don’t want to coach. Sure, they want to be faster, but they don’t show the hunger and passion it takes to get there.
Then, there are the other churches and their websites. They tell it all! With a clear mission and vision, you get a sense of everything they do. From the Senior Pastor to the Secretary, from the elder to the regular member . . . they can all tell you exactly why they are there. It’s present in everything they do. I call this type of church an “entrepreneur church” because they chase after people like their hair is on fire.
Having an entrepreneur as a dad, I know business owners like that never turn it off . . . they’re always on mission and moving forward. These churches have that mentality too.
So, what about our churches? What type of churches are they? What type of pastors and church members are we? Do we chase after the lost like everything depends on it? Do we disciple and raise up leaders like the history of the church is in the balance?
The question we should be asking ourselves and our churches is the same one I ask my runners . . . are you hungry?
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