“They sure were organized!”
I recently heard a story about a man who cut his finger on a piece of sharp metal and decided to have his wife drive him to the hospital. As he entered the emergency room he saw two doors with a sign over each. One read "Men" and the other read "Women." He walked through appropriate door then saw another set of doors. One read, "injury below the waist," the other read, "injury above the waist." Again, he chose the appropriate door only to find another set of doors! One said, "Not so serious injury"; the other said, "Serious injury." He glanced at his finger and decided to go through the door that said, "Not so serious." To his surprise, he found himself back in the hospital parking lot. His wife, who had been waiting, said, "What happened? Didn't they help you?"
He replied, "No, but they sure were organized!"
Hospitals are usually very attractive structures, well-furnished with the latest medial technology and highly trained staff. They often have a carefully organized system to handle the flow of patients. But if they don't actually help anyone, they are basically worthless.
I know it's a silly story, but not so different from many churches. We can have a beautiful building with a beautiful sign out front, but that doesn't mean we're actually helping anyone. We can have plush seating and the latest multimedia equipment but that doesn't mean we're actually changing lives. We can have an educated staff and function with a high degree of excellence... but if people are not finding hope and healing, we are basically worthless.
The new campus on Richmond Road will be designed to be a hospital--a hospital for sinners, a hospital for the broken, the poor, the confused and the lost. As Dave Donaldson says in his book, "The Compassion Revolution," we need to become a "shopping mall of compassion," a place where a great variety of human needs can all be met in one place while people also have the opportunity to meet Jesus. Simply put, that's what we're about. By God's Grace we will be... a shopping mall of compassion. Pray about that, okay?