Those are great and all, but isn’t that setting the bar kind of high? Do you really expect people to be like that the first time they come to your church?
Well, yes and no.
No, we don’t expect people to be perfect. We don’t expect everyone to rank as 10’s in each of these 5 categories. In fact, you may come in at a 1 in each. All of us here at SixEight Church are works in progress. Not a single one of us have arrived. We all rank differently on the scale. So, no you don’t have to be perfect, because we aren’t. But there is one thing you need: hunger. That is to say, you can be a work in progress or even a work yet to be in progress, but do you want to grow? If you don’t want to grow, there’s not much we can do for you. So it would be a waste of your time and ours to try. That sounds harsh, we know. But, we have worked with a lot of people over the years. Some wanted our help, and we were able to make a difference. Others claimed to want our help but really wanted us to do the transformation for them. And it just doesn’t work that way. We can’t impose transformation onto your life. You have to want to change.
Do you want more for your life? Do you have a desire to become a better person? If you don’t want to become more like Christ, but are just looking for a church to go to when it’s convenient for you, we probably aren’t the church for you. But, if you want more for your life, if you want more for your family, if you have a dream and you want to achieve it, we would be honored and excited to help you on your Jesus Journey.
So, let’s look at these 5 areas a little more and also take a look at the arch nemesis for them.
Hunger has everything to do with desire. However, it’s not just a pipe dream or day dream. Instead, it’s an unsettled feeling. You don’t just want something like you want to win the lottery. You want it and you’re willing to give up other things in order to get it. This is who we are as a church. We are full of people who so desperately want to become like Christ that we’re willing to let go of things that are keeping us from doing so. Some of them even seem like good things, but they’re not the best thing. So, do you want it? I mean really, really want it?
The enemy of hunger is complacency, laziness and entitlement. It’s the mindset of “I shouldn’t have to work to change, it should just happen over night,” or “I don’t really care to try anything new or different,” “If I can’t change unless I do something different, I’m not interested.” In too many people this mentality is winning.
Maybe you’re not a Christ-follower yet, you just know that something is missing from your life. You’ve tried lots of things, but all of them leave you wanting. And even though you never thought you’d say it, you think the church might actually have the answers you’re looking for. If that’s you, keep reading, you’re exactly the kind of person we’re looking for.
Humble has to do with not think more highly of yourself than you ought. It means you’re not going to let your ego get in the way of learning from someone who is further along than you, regardless of their “status.” Being teachable is also a part of it. Can you learn? Can you stop talking long enough to hear what someone else has to say? Do you listen to hear others or do you listen to respond so you can sound smart?
Some people think it can’t be taught, but I disagree. It’s hard to teach and learn, but it can be done. In our church we don’t celebrate hubris, we honor humility.
The enemy of humility is ego. Too many people whose lives are a wreck don’t have the humility to receive wisdom from others around them. Your life is perfectly designed to give you the results you’re currently getting. If you’re life is a wreck it’s because the systems of your life are set up to produce those results. If you want a different life, ego is your enemy. Ego will tell you that you don’t need help. Ego will tell you that you’re smarter than anyone else. And ego will keep you in a state of constant frustration.
Honorable is difficult these days. It has to do with being accountable. Not being held accountable, being accountable. If someone has to hold you accountable, you’re not honorable. When you’re honorable, you hold yourself accountable. That’s not to say you don’t have help and encouragement from a supporting community. That’s a requirement. But, for us it’s not about punishing people to try to get them to grow. It’s calling them to a higher standard and expecting them to have the honor to do so. Honor is also about following through on your commitments. It’s not just getting what you want and then heading for the hills. That’s dishonorable. When you’ve receive help and reaped the benefits of it, the honorable thing to do is to pass it on.
The reason this is so difficult today is because everyone seems to be a victim. But victimhood is something we learn. It’s caught and taught. Victimhood says, I can’t change. I’m an addict, that’s who I’ll always be. I’m this way because of this thing that happened to me, and I have to live with it. I am this way because of mistakes I made, and there’s no going back. Those are lies. When you embrace victimhood, you are handing the authority of your life over to someone else. Why would you want to be a slave to that thing, that person or that mistake?
Victimhood is the enemy of being honorable. We have a lot of victims in this day and age. Victims embrace the pain as an identity. They aren’t just in pain, they become the pain. You’ll hear it in their speech. I am… Many people have used their victimhood to make a pretty nice life living off of the hard work of others. And we think we’re doing a good thing to help people who have embraced their victimhood. The most loving thing we can do is expose it for what it is and help you find a way out.
Honest isn’t just about telling the truth. That’s just the surface of honesty. Honesty is about being willing to be honest even when it means laying aside your facade. Are you honest even when it makes you look bad. Are you honest for the right reasons? Are you vulnerable? Are you transparent? Or, do you have to keep up the show and not let anyone behind the curtain?
The enemy of honesty is facade. It’s putting on a show, pretending to be someone you’re not. Not admitting your faults and weaknesses, even pretending not to have any. That’s not honest. We all know you have faults, we can see them with our own eyes! So, be honest with us about them.
Hope is desperately needed in our world. Not just fleeting statements of hope. “I hope this gets better, I hope I get this job, I hope I make it to work on time.” But the kind of hope that actually believes the future is better than the present. That what we are experiencing today isn’t what tomorrow has to be like. There is a better way and a better plan.
The enemy of hope is pessimism. Like that classic line from Frank in Home Alone, “You be positive, I’ll be realistic,” the world is full of pessimists disguised as realists. We believe God has a better plan than the world is currently experiencing. We have hope for our community, for out city and for out county. We don’t just sit around and complain about everything that’s wrong with the world, we try to do right things (aka – Doing Justice).
So, maybe you’re resonating with these 5 characteristics. Maybe you recognize you’re not there yet, but that’s what you want for your life. If you’re ready for more, if you want to take the next step to become a part of SixEight, text the message “I Am Ready” to the number three six zero, eight one eight, four three nine nine. (We spell it out so we don’ get a bunch of spam.)
If you don’t feel like you would fit in at SixEight, that’s okay. We’d still like to talk to you. Maybe you’re right, but maybe you’re not. Maybe you’ve just been around too many people keeping you down. Let’s talk about it. And if, in the end, you’re still not feeling it, we’ll help you find another church. We’re connected to many churches in town, and are confident we can help you find a good fit.
No, you don’t have to be perfect, but…
Do you want more for your life? Because God designed you for more than you’re currently experiencing. He wants you to know His life to the full. And we’d love to help you get it!