One of the neat things about working at NCC is you just get to connect with people from all over the country. People are always stopping by wanting to see how we do things, etc. I get a lot of these connections too because I am the location pastor at Ebenezers, which is our coffee house location and it is a little more innovative and people want to see how we “do church” there.
Here is what scares me as I talk to a lot of people and field a lot of emails on the topic. People are in love with a model in their mind. I feel most of the time they ask the wrong questions whenever I get quizzed on this stuff. They ask the how rather than the why.
This distinction is HUGE. They almost without fail almost ask how much did it cost, how long until you are financially stable as a coffee house type of questions.
I get more and more fearful as I talk to people that they are in love with a model and not in love with a people. Not saying that this model won’t work for other people in other places, or God could not reveal a model to do something before you land in a city. I just think the person should come before the model. I don’t think Jesus was in love with a model over a people. I feel like we saw Jesus use different models. He hung out at wells, he preached large crowds. He preached in houses. He wasn’t bound by a model, he was bound by his love for people. It works at NCC, for many reasons, but I believe at the core is it is fueled by a deep desire to reach people and a desire to be a blessing financially and give money away.
Here is my theory. Models are easier to love than people. People are messy. If models don’t work, we can blame the people, but people are still there and we move on to another model. Models don’t talk back, they don’t talk about you behind your back. They don’t show up late to serve or not give.
What do you love more? Your model or the people you are called to minister to?