I am not sure this version of this quote would have worked for Kevin Costner and the movie Field of Dreams, but it would certainly have saved countless churches and organizations from disappointment and defeat. Why? The idea that you if you build it they (the lost) will come actually means this: make the institution as attractive as possible.
Visit such a church that and you will quickly pick up on the proprietary pride felt by its members, “our church has…”, “our church is…”, and so on. Such statements tend to be more about the institution rather than the work and person of Christ. So what is it that Jesus was concerned with building while here on earth?
Matthew 6:33: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Here is what organizations build when the focus is on Kingdom Growth, and is what we have been and will be working on building at Randall Church.
1. Building up the CHURCH - Whatever God is going to do in the world, He is going to do through all of Christ’s people.
- We are devoting a great deal of time and effort to ensure our people find their place Upward, Inward, and Outward. That they would discover faith, nurture hope, and awaken love for every man, woman and child.
- We are committed to interactive worship gatherings that introduce people to God as well as one another, where they can engage in relational discipleship communities that in turn are motivated to serve their neighbors.
- We are pursuing adjustments in our church database management systems to leverage technology in our organization to keep us connected to each other, and remain relevant in a digital age.
2. Building up LEADERS - Whatever God is going to do in the world through Christ’s people, He is going to do through selfless leaders who empower His people as their first priority and more important than their own giftedness.
- We are working tirelessly to create opportunities for young leadership to be developed, and senior leadership to be recognized for their faithful service.
- We are making adjustments in our practices, and even our bi-laws to create a direct path for Godly men young and old towards eldership in a timely manner.
- We are intentionally using the preaching schedule as a developmental tool for gifted communicators to gain experience towards being a primary teaching pastor.
3. Building a STRATEGY - Whatever God is going to do in the world through all of Christ's people, He is going to do primarily through a decentralized structure.
- We are focused in planting, revitalizing, and replanting churches that also have a heart for reaching those far from God in their own neighborhoods.
- We are in it for the long haul, and realize that it will take at least 1000 days to accomplish these objectives in each area, but result is a sustained local congregation rather than a flash-in-the-pan spike in attendance.
- We are searching for telescoping opportunities where we look at the world apart from any church's local circle of accountability for where God is already working in a similar fashion and where we can resource indigenous resources.
If you build they will (not) come. But if you build it, we will GO!