Relevant Magazine has posted a good story called “Seek Impact. Not Attention” regarding the universal longing to be liked. We forget that ‘what happens off the stage always trumps what happens on the stage.’
A couple years ago, the Interfaith Youth Core – after becoming “famous” – decided it was much more important to make an impact. The word “impact” factors heavily in their materials these days. And it’s more than a word. They are making a global difference in teaching interfaith cooperation.
Too many churches are still interested in being popular. Even now in the 21st Century, there are still churches where it’s impressive to be a member, where the wealthy and powerful gather to be seen. Even within small congregations, there are people who vie for important positions. Church roles like “treasurer” or “deacon” or “coffee hour lady” are the only position of power some people believe they have. But Jesus’ followers are called to be servants who make an impact, rather than members who get attention.
As we evaluate the ministry we are doing in our faith communities, it’s not about the numbers in worship or the Yelp ratings or the preacher’s Klout score or how comfortable we are. What impact does our spiritual community have on the neighborhood and beyond?
Jesus had a deep impact on people and – at least for a moment – earth became a bit more like heaven. That’s what we’re called to do too. And we can make a deep impact better together than we can individually.
That’s what the church is supposed to be about.