In the world of sports, there are certain points in a competitive environment when scheduled or called breaks occur. In a basketball game, there are periods dictated by the clock. There are also timeouts called to correct a team’s play or stop the other team’s momentum. The same is true of other sports. Some coaches are known for their ability to react to what is happening on the field of play and make necessary adjustments.
I have given away a number of books in my ministry. One book stands apart as the one I have given away most often. It was written by Bob Buford, a man whose success in business ventures was unquestioned. But he came to a point in life when he realized all of his success wasn’t fulfilling. He became convinced that there had to be more.
His book, Halftime, is a classic. If you have not read it, you should. I’ll even give you a copy. The premise of the book, in my estimation, is quite simple. Living a life that is large in the ways God intended is about significance, not success.
While it does not always involve crisis, the search for meaning and fulfillment for Buford was impacted by the tragic death of his son. He could have surrendered to the overwhelming grief that broke his heart. He had reached one of those pivotal moments when he had to make adjustments. He had to recalibrate. He chose to do so from an eternal perspective. He chose to make a Kingdom difference. Today, his influence and the networks he has built with the help of other significance champions are impacting the world.
Churches have such moments. It is time to make adjustments, to recalibrate, to choose integration not segregation. One quote is appropriate here regarding churches that reinvent themselves to have maximum Gospel impact. He called them 50/50 churches – churches who allocate 50% of their resources to themselves and the other half to serving their community and the world: “The 50/50 church reaches out to serve its surrounding community, living out its proclamation of the Gospel rather than imposing an unwelcome ideology on others. Its witness is first by example, then by proclamation. It places carriers of faith back into all of the contradictions, tensions, and paradoxes of the community, rather than isolate people in an unrealistic, cloistered atmosphere for a couple of hours on Sunday morning.”
Hmmm. I think he is on to something …