On the menu
In a rare spare moment this week I turned on the TV to view Gordon Ramsay trying to rescue a hotel from going out of business. I know the guy's language is appalling but what he was telling the owners made a lot of sense. They were running too many restaurants, one of which was Japanese, whilst at the same time ignoring the obvious connection the seaside town had with France and the availability of wonderful local seafood. The menus had too many dishes and the dishes were all too complicated. The chef was trying to do too much too soon. Gordon advised that they should get a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve, know who was in charge and simplify. Also he realised that the staff were using the bar as their own social club and because they were spending money there the owners let them, fearful of losing the little regular income they did have. Unfortunately genuine customers felt they were intruding and after one visit did not return. The hotel took Gordon's advice and it worked.
Any parallels to the Church? I'll let you make your own but the one that speaks to me at the moment is the chef who was trying to do too much too soon. It's a delicate balance. We need a sense of urgency in reaching the lost and I know I spent too many years holding back because of fear of failure. At the same time, we must not be in a hurry or fall into the trap of thinking more activity is the same as effectiveness. I am always so impressed by the way Jesus allowed God to set the pace for him and not circumstances or other people. The disciples wanted Jesus to delay his visit to Jersusalem indefinitely, whilst Lazarus' sisters could understand why he took so long but Jesus went there in his own time and the ultimate result was resurrection, life and power.
And so I am trying to follow Gordon's wise counsel to seek a clear vision, let God be in charge and simplify!
(PS CSM Pete, I know you already told me I can't do everything at once but it takes a while for it to sink in)