We really want to believe Christianity is about “go big or go home.” We really do. We say it “isn’t about the numbers”… but it’s exactly about the numbers. In church circles we figure out other ways to say, “How many ya runnin’?” without saying exactly that, but still shaming pastors who aren’t in that “big gun” territory.
So, we talk about Big Hairy Audacious Goals… and it’s always about numbers.
We talk about dreaming big… and it’s always about numbers.
Paul has the Thessalonians “dream big.” He tells them to “set goals.” Here it is:
11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. (1 Thess. 4:11-12)
Well, that won’t preach!
No wonder we like “big hairy audacious goals” that can be measured… in numbers…
How do you measure influence? How do you measure that other BHAG goal Paul had of knowing Christ?
Get real. Those can’t but quantified on annual reports.
I can’t quantify on my annual church report the couple who is raising wonderful kids to know Christ. I can’t quantify the impact of a family that hosts international students every year in their home, quietly influencing them with Kingdom values.
There is no BHAG quantifier that measures a developmentally disabled adult who was scared to death to be in community with a church because of past issues and is now someone who feels like they are “home.”
A few weeks ago we said our farewells to a lady who worked quietly in our church. Her last few years were spent volunteering in our office making phone calls to people who never knew her by sight (because she couldn’t make it on Sunday morning so I could count her for my BHAG quantifying annual report) but they knew her voice. There is no quantifying the multiplying effect she had in lifting up others with kind words, keeping them in prayer, and helping people who didn’t like each other learn to get along.
But she lived out what Paul was saying and at her memorial outsiders as well as “insiders” boasted of her quiet life lived to the glory of God.
REMEMBER: You may not be called to go win China. You may just need to live in holiness before God so the neighbor next door sees some powerful reality of Christ he wouldn’t see any other way.
Go live boldly.