Some of you will remember Tim “The Toolman” Taylor from the TV show, Home Improvement. His guiding principle for every home improvement project was, “More power!” To him, bigger was ALWAYS better, usually with comically disastrous results.
We all tend to think that bigger is better—at home, at work, and in our relationships.
So when we look to improve, our natural inclination is to aim for bigger. How can I grow my company? How can I make more money? How can I get that next promotion? My relationship with my spouse would be better if we could just afford to go on that big vacation. My family would be so much happier together if we just had a bigger house.
And guess what? We do the same thing at church. Ministers aim for bigger, too--bigger buildings, bigger budgets, bigger programs, more people. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be bigger, but "How can we get bigger?” isn’t usually the right question.
The right question is, “How can we get better?”
Asking "Better" Questions
How do we better use the worship hour to help our congregation become more fully-formed followers of Christ?
How do we communicate the truth about who God is better—that is, more clearly and more effectively?
How do we better use discipleship groups and fellowship opportunities to help our members feel more connected to one another and to God?
How do we better use mission and service opportunities to share God’s love with our community?
How do we become better followers of Christ who are leading others to become better followers of Christ?
Those are hard questions. They’re hard questions not because they’re hard to formulate and not even because they’re all that hard to answer. They’re hard because the answers require us to do something most of us aren’t all that good at doing. They require us to change.
"Better" questions lead us to do things differently and to think about things differently. Sometimes they even lead us to admit that we’ve made some wrong decisions that it’s time to correct for.
What If We Really Want To Be Bigger?
It’s easier to ask, “How can we get bigger?” than it is to ask, “How can we get better?” But here’s the secret. Better can lead to bigger. If we get better at what we’re doing, there’s a good chance we’ll get bigger, too.
I want our church to get bigger. I want us to have a bigger footprint and a larger impact in our community. I pray for God to do BIG things through and for and with us every day.
But every time I ask God for bigger, this nagging voice in the back of my mind whispers, “How can you get better?”
Prioritizing Better Over Bigger
So as we think about how to get better at HERITAGE, maybe you can think about how to get better in your life, too. How can you be a better member of your family, a better Christian for your church, a better employee at work, or a better citizen in your community?
For many of us, one way to get better is to just slow down—to be willing to say no to some things so that we can more fully commit to other things. For others of us, it might just be a re-alignment of priorities.
Make sure your family is getting more of you when you're at your very best. Prioritize rest and exercise and quiet time with God. Give everything you do the attention and energy it deserves. And if you can't do those things now, figure out what you need to let go of to make it happen.
God wants each of us at our best. Our souls are after something more than bigger. And so is God. As God shapes our lives, it isn't necessarily into something bigger, but it's always into something better.
So I challenge you to do two things today. First, ask yourself, “What can I do today to more fully become the person God is creating me to be?” And then do it.
See you Sunday.