On Monday, we gathered in Arlington Heights for a cluster meeting with our partners. We met at a potential venue for Quest Christian Church and toured the facility with the manager. After the tour, we sat down and he asked us if we had any questions. I knew from talking with him earlier that he had been a long-time resident of Arlington Heights, so I asked, “What do think the spiritual climate of this city is?” He responded, “We have a lot of churches in town and several of them seem to be growing. I think people are open to the church.”
Then I asked him which churches were making a difference in the community. His eyes lit up as he said, “Last year, I received a call from one of the churches telling me they wanted to make a difference in the city. They asked me if there were things they could do to help our theater. I was excited, because I know this is what the church is supposed to do.” His face fell as he continued, “When I called to let them know of an opportunity to help, they told me they were too busy with their own things at that time.”
My heart cringed, for I saw a missed opportunity for the church to make a positive impression. Talking with the manager, I realized the importance of follow-through. If we make a promise, we need to keep that promise, even if it causes us discomfort.
Ignite starts churches that introduce people to Jesus. One way we show Jesus is by blessing the communities these churches are started in. I know that Quest Christian Church is already looking for ways to engage the community, supply volunteers that will help community organizations and be a blessing to Arlington Heights.
It doesn’t take much to make a positive impression. On the flip side: it doesn’t take much to leave a sour taste in the mouth of a community leader if we don’t follow-through and do what we say we are going to do. Something to think about over the weekend.