“Culture eats strategy for breakfast/lunch/dinner.” – Peter Drucker
This quote is insanely true. The problem is that many organizations focus so much on their strategy to get things done that they forget the culture experience of their customers, consumers, or members. We all feel the culture and it determines, in large part, how we engage with a business, group, or church.
Downtown Faith desires to shape its culture around four basic characteristics: Worship, Commitment, Love, and Generosity. We have already explored what we mean by Wholehearted Worship and Courageous Commitment in earlier posts. In this post, let’s discuss LOVE as a foundational trait of Christianity.
Core Value #3: Loud Love
Let’s face it, most churches, Christians, and faith-based organizations in modern America aren’t associated with words like love, forgiveness, or mercy. Maybe it’s because of political affiliations or simply selfish church members, but Christianity has strayed from its founder and its foundation. Jesus spoke clearly of love and the early church was marked by this “fruit.” They had a love for God, each other, and their neighbor that transcended things like disease, race, gender, status, and nationality.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” – Jesus
Jesus modeled love and passed it on. Jesus knew that if the world around saw how his followers loved each other and their surrounding community, they too would want to follow such an attractive path, led by a loving leader. Basically, people could peek over the fence into the Jesus-following community and see how life could be if we began to follow Jesus into new life.
But this isn’t necessarily the current experience of most people as they interact with the church or Christians. They have strayed from the original message of love, unity, and grace while inadvertently embracing a message of division. Too many churches have an “us versus them” mindset. They truly believe that certain people and people groups are the “enemy.” But even if this mindset were true, Jesus called his followers to do something radical…
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.” – Jesus
Even if there are enemies to your faith, the command is to love them. This is basic! Kind words, actions, and interactions towards “the other” should be the mark of every person and church that follows Jesus.
There’s one more reason I believe that the church should love their community loudly. Loud love says, “We’re here for you!” And if people know you’re there before they need you, they will know you’re there when they need you. If the surrounding community believes that the church cares for them with no agenda, they will turn to them when life hits hard and suffering happens. Why? Because when people experience suffering they want and need love.
Loving well is important to us as a church. Maybe you’ve experienced the love of a church and it helped change your life. Share below in the comments section and JOIN THE DISCUSSION!