Thursday, November 29, 2012

Your Client Isn't You

We constantly ask ourselves a simple question at Crosswind, "Are we turning inward?"  Another way to state it is this, "Are we spending all of our time and talent and treasure on us?"  Have we become our own client?

It's budget time. There's no clearer check on whether 'we are who we say we are' than to look at our budget.
  • How much did we spend on us?  How much did we spend on them?  
  • How much of our staff did we hire for us? How many for them?
  • How many of our programs are for us? How many for them?
  • How many of our Bible classes are for us? How many for them?
It's really simple. We have made a commitment for our client to be our broken neighbor and not to become ourselves. To that end we budget, hire, plan and organize.  

When I was a traditional church pastor we hired music guys, for us. We hired youth guys, for our youth. We hired program coordinators, to design programs for us. We enlisted volunteers from us and for us. We enlisted Bible teachers for us and our kids. We used almost all our money on us, almost all our volunteers on us and almost all our talents on us. 

"I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls" - Paul, 2 Cor 12:15

The Crosswind model (some call a missional model) is to spend ourselves and be spent for others and not just for us.  We surely take care of each other. We have a portion of our budget and staff and volunteer time and programs for us. We love each other and want to ensure each other is healthy and whole. But most of all the above goes to them.

Practically it goes like this: Last month we had "dinner on the grounds" twice, but it was their grounds, in their parking lot, by us for them.  We have children's ministry every week, but it's for their children, by us for them. We hired four of the six of our staff... you get it, for them.  Four of our staff have nothing to do with caring for the saints in the fellowship, their entire job is to care for the broken neighbor.  

It simple, we believe Jesus meant it when he said " leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it..."  Sometimes we feel that whole wilderness thing too.  I had a dear pastor friend ask me one time if I wasn't neglecting the sheep, "Neglect them? Jesus said leave them in the wilderness! I don't think we're doing that yet." Ha!  Really though, our families have sacrificed some of the cool programs and things that others spend time, talent and treasure on. But it's because we believe God has called us to them, not us.

It's budget time, time to see if we're still on track. Time to check and see who our client is.

And it better not be us.