Start With Why
June 8, 2021
Simon Sinek wrote a very provocative book called Start with Why. It is a profound business book with wide implications beyond business. He says you must always start with the “WHY” of a decision or venture. If not, you will lose your way.
WHY is your reason for being.
WHY is why anyone should care.
A WHY is your core belief.
This is a question that I have asked myself many, many times over the last 15 months. I have shared with the NewPointe team that we must have the mindset that the building has been burned down with everything in it. We must go back to the basics, to assume nothing, and we have to ask the question, WHY?
Why do we exist? Why do we do what we do?
The answer to these questions must be the driving force behind everything we do as we work with the founder of the Church, Jesus Christ.
The church is the only organization (or to use the biblical term, organism) that doesn’t exist for itself. That is a tough pill for most to swallow. We want it to be for US primarily, and that is our default.
We need to be clear on our WHY to help people self-select as to whether or not they believe in our cause. If they do, they will buy into WHY we do it rather than WHAT we do, which can set the stage for them to become a loyal follower. People who simply buy into what we do are fickle and consumer-oriented. They are easy come, easy go.
We can also use “Start with Why” as our compass for decision-making. When pursuing anything new and innovative, there are so many unknowns. Even though there is no shortage of people who will tell you what to do, sometimes with a smug over-confidence, we are in a new world. NO ONE has been here before. No one has a guaranteed formula. We can’t go after formulas and easy solutions. We must know our why and use it as the compass that gets us and keeps us on the right track.
Start with WHY (purpose), then HOW (values and actions and differentiators), and then WHAT (products and results). If you get them out of order, tension and failure of what is really important will result.
So what is the WHY behind the Church? If you claim to be a Christ-follower and you think that the Church exists for you, you will always struggle. You will be a consumer, a critic instead of a contributor. Your default will be “what is wrong” and “where can I go to find better,” instead of focusing on what is right and how you can serve to make what we have better reach others.
Consider, WHY do you follow Jesus? If you do it primarily for the blessings of life and the return on your investment, you will inevitably be disappointed, frustrated, and even angry. While people may try to recruit you for the perks, Jesus did not. He was always very straightforward and honest. He said that if you follow Him you must deny yourself. It’s a basic requirement.
What’s your WHY for coming to church? If you come simply to “enjoy a service” instead of coming for God to speak to you and give you wisdom for the next step, you will be bored and become a critic.
At NewPointe, the basic WHY behind what we do is that we believe everybody spends forever somewhere. We believe that the Church exists to reach those who have not yet experienced who Jesus Christ is. We believe that we give up things we love for things we love more, like our mission and the people God loves.
At NewPointe, our WHY as it relates to you is more about helping you take your next step in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ than meeting your needs.
So as we continue to rebuild here at NewPointe (and make no mistake, that is what we are doing), things have changed. Things will continue to change. They must. They have to. The success of the mission depends on it. The Message has not and will not change. The WHY has not and will not change.
But the expert church watchers have stated that one out of five churches will close over the next 18 months. WHY? Because they have not made the necessary changes to meet the demands and challenges of the future. Nothing is truly returning to normal.
But no need to fear. Here is the promise of the founder, Jesus: I will build MY church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
I am betting on the church.