January 12, 2012

A Resolution Gone Bad...

I haven't made a New Years resolution in over fifteen years. I just don't do it because I have a rule about deceiving myself. Why resolve to do something that you know full well you will never actually do?

This year is different. I have made some resolutions. Some are intensely private. Others, not so much. A few days ago, one of my resolutions sent me into a tailspin.

I have resolved to be more intentional in the things I do. You know, not just going through the motions, but knowing why I do the things I do.

So Sunday morning, January 1st, I started this project. I got up and began getting ready for the day, like any other Sunday. I brushed my teeth, shaved, showered and did all of the things associated with that. Then while getting dressed, I realized that I hadn't been very intentional about the process. So, while I was putting on my deodorant, I decided to read the label. Not an inspiring leap in the right direction, but at least it was a start.

I read the ingredients, most of which I could not pronounce. Then I inspected the artwork on the label. Beautiful! And just as I was about to uncap the gel stick, I read the cap. It said that this deodorant "smells like Ice, Wind, and Freedom." I'd been using this same brand of deodorant for some time and had never thought about it smelling like ice, wind or freedom. Actually, on the occasions when I've been able to smell ice or wind, it wasn't necessarily a good experience. And I can't even begin to imagine what freedom "smells" like.

At this point, I realized that this very popular company had done something that so many of us do...especially churches and her disciples. They had promised something that either they had no intention of delivering, or could not possibly deliver. Seriously, how do you deliver on making someone smell like freedom?

The church where I worship has this mission statement: "Connecting People to God and to Each Other." Is this even possible? I kinda' think so. But is it a promise that we are bound, determined, and intentional about delivering on? Can we really say that we are "intentional" about doing this, or are we "over promising?"

Can't honestly say that the majority of people at our church could even tell you the mission statement. And of those who can, does this statement ring true as to the real mission of our church? I'm better off letting them decide this for themselves.

I guess, long story short, we need to rethink what we (churches) are promising our community that we will do. Unless, of course, we really plan to do it.