I believe it is important to take a personal assessment occasionally, to determine if one is on the right track. It is easy to become comfortable with the status quo and keeping everything the same – partly because we tend to be creatures of habit. We like things to stay the way that they are, even if the way things are make us a bit uncomfortable.
Several years ago, we as a church found ourselves in a place where we were quite comfortable with the way things were. We had a youth ministry, a children’s ministry, a music ministry, and a preaching ministry. Our elders were involved and engaged and the church was growing at a sustainable pace. Our bills were paid and the building seemed to be perfectly adequate for our needs. We were quite comfortable – partly because we didn’t know what we didn’t know.
The elders and I came to the conclusion that we needed to seek God for what the future held concerning HarvestDowntown. Did He really want us to just keep going in our current trajectory, or did He have something else in store for us? We concluded that we needed to bring in a consultant to help us define what our desired future looked like.
In my first meeting with the consultant, he made an interesting statement that has resonated with me for some time. “The elders of any community tend to think that one thing is important while the community itself thinks something entirely different is crucial to the life of the community.”
This consultant had done future searches with communities in Africa, Asia, and North America. Some of these communities were communities of faith, and others were just villages or towns seeking to define their desired future. But, the nature of leadership being disconnected from the populace was consistent across the cultural boundaries.
The very first thing that we did as a community was to assess and label those things we were proud or sorry about. This was significant to me as I watched the members of our church community write down things that I knew were blind spots, but I had become comfortable with those blind spots. But I also saw a great deal of things that we were proud of. We were proud and sorry – but mostly proud of what God was doing through HarvestDowntown.
I am proud and sorry – but mostly proud of HarvestDowntown.
I am quite proud of what the Perspectives Art Shows have turned into. I am proud of our ESL classes that we are facilitating with the Crossing and Compass Church. I am proud of the way our church has taken ownership of providing ESL classes for some players of Switchbacks FC. I am proud of our willingness and ability to give away over 20% of our income to ministries outside of our local context. I am proud of what we have done to our facility to make it usable for community, worship, and mission. I am proud of the way our church practices generosity through giving to the ministry of our church. I am proud of our church’s leadership in creating a Greenhouse Environment for ministry residents to come and explore God’s call upon their lives. I am proud of our ability to take care of the physical needs of those in our church body. I am proud of our desire to reach the schools in our neighborhood. I am proud of our Compass Groups. I am proud of the way we engage through relationship – I am proud that we are not a program based church. I am proud of our legacy of church planting.
I am most of all proud of the people who call HarvestDowntown their home church. I see people caring for one another. I see people serving other ministries in Colorado Springs. I see you giving rides to one another, feeding one another, and ministering to one another. I see you picking up a week’s worth of trash before the rest of the church community gets to the building. I see grandparents reaching across the generations to children that are not even related to them.
I am proud of HarvestDowntown. What are you proud and sorry about concerning HarvestDowntown – but mostly proud of?