Why Our Church Was Scanned

If outrageous imagination is the wine of madness, then come fill my cup. Sheldon Kopp, American psychologist and writer. (1929-1999)

Your comfort zone is where outrageous imagination goes to take a nap.

Don't settle.

Do the work.

Recently, my pastor, Nicolas, who is also my son (just so you know), had a young man come and assess our church – its culture and its modus operandi. This is his ministry. Mind you, we have a good church. Huge changes since the transition two years ago. Great staff, great congregation, great attitude, great update of the building. It’s great. We’re all great.

But if we are going to fulfill our considerable potential, there’s going to have to be some outrageous imagination coupled with the willingness to make significant changes.

So Brandon Stewart shows up with his wife, Lindsay. Tall, 30-something, hipster (alright, I’m no expert, but he seemed pretty hip). You might not look at them and think, “Wow, these folks are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in helping churches fulfill their potential.” But you shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking they aren’t.

We found out very quickly that here was a young man

  • who had done his research and knew the culture/demographics of our city
  • had an unsentimental eye from the moment he drove into the parking lot until the moment he left
  • has a no-holds-barred approach to How to Get it Done for God’s kingdom

He and his wife met individually with members of our staff on Saturday, asking questions. Many questions. Taking copious notes.

On Sunday, they walked through the front doors and began what I think was a Scan. They scanned the Frontline Team and the lobby. Then my daughter-in-law, Dana, escorted Lindsay through the Sunday School facilities and she scanned. The couple walked into the Worship Center and began scanning the entire space. You could almost hear the beep, beep, beep. Then the service, the Worship Team, everyone who said anything throughout the service. Then he preached. We scanned him and were challenged by what he had to say. Afterward, he walked through the building and scanned some more.

They met with our entire staff on Sunday evening. Some of what we heard:

  • Every church has a culture, by design or default.
  • What is culture? “This is how we do things here.”
  • Vision is the church we want. Culture is the church we have.
  • Your church culture must be carefully disciplined to align with your vision

They met with Pastor Nick and Dana on Monday for an excruciatingly honest verbal assessment of Christ Tabernacle. They discussed concrete steps for taking our church to the next level. A ten-page written report followed.


But I will tell you this. I awoke very early on that following Monday morning with a palpable sense of joy. Why? Because we’ve been vetted and we’re up for the challenge. All of us.

Because, as the apostles quickly found out, a 400 b.c. system doesn’t work in a 33 a.d. world.

Makes the point.

Makes the point.

And what may seem like outrageous imagination is simply God showing us what He wants done.

Do you sense God scanning your life? Are you up for significant change?


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