Very rarely do moviesÂ affect me deeply.Â You know, I’m a guy.Â “Let’s blow stuff up for two hours and then move on” I say!Â
However, I cannot get the movie Moneyball out of my mind.Â I sat riveted this past weekendÂ watching Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, and Peter Brand, played by Jonah Hill, turn around a terrible baseball franchise using new thinking, finding new solutions, and leading others in a completely unconventional yet innovative manner.
I actually became a little angry during the movie.Â I was thinking, “IfÂ a new, creative, out-of-the-box approach can work for the Oakland A’s, certainly it could work at a local church with plateaued or declining attendance.”Â ThenÂ as my wifeÂ fell asleep half-way through the movie, my mind went into overdrive!
- “Why did Beane make that decision?”
- “Why didn’t Art Howe buy-in early on?”
- “How did a recent college graduate get so much influence?”
- “How in the world did that team set a recordÂ by winning 20 games in a row?”
- “Why did Beane and his wife get divorced?”
But here was the big question I asked - “Did God leave any lessons in this movie thatÂ if applied by churches could regainÂ lost momentum?”Â You can read my initial findings by clicking here.
Now, I know what you must be thinking – “Brian, it’s baseball.Â Can you not just enjoy the movie for what it is?”Â Well sadly, “No.”
You see, I simply cannot accept the concept ofÂ plateaued or declining churches.Â We all know they are a reality.Â I just can’t accept it.
- Churches that are not prevailing areÂ not a picture of who God is.
- The Kingdom of God is always moving.Â Always advancing.Â Always reaching out.
- I am an idealist and at best it is simply not the way things should be.Â At worst, it is embarrassing.
I pass seven declining churches on the way to my churchÂ each Sunday morning.Â And each Sunday I think:
- Do they have any level of expectation this morning?
- What are they wanting Jesus to do?
- What are their services like?
- Is anything memorable going to happen today that people will talk about all week?
- What leadership decisions were made 10 years, 20 years, or 25 years ago that led them to this point?Â Could my church be making some of the same?
- What are their current leaders like?
- Was someone’s life changed in that building last week?Â Last month?Â Last year?
- Do they care about unchurched people at all?
- Would they ever change their methodology?
- Did they ever make hard decisions?
- Would they even attempt anything uncomfortable if it meant expanding the Kingdom?
- When is the last time they took a risk?
- Did they ever hire the right people? Â Did they stay?Â If not, why?
- Are they willing to reach out to another generation or race?
- I’m now also going to be thinking if the Oakland A’s can be turned around with a little innovation, why can’t that church on the cornerÂ who carries the nameÂ the Bride of Christ?!
In addition toÂ tearing apartÂ the movie MoneyballÂ looking for leadership principles,Â I also spent time today in the bookÂ of Acts and Mark Dricoll’s bookÂ DoctrineÂ looking forÂ key learningsÂ I have not seen before that could ignite our church(es).
I wish I could fix the seven churches I pass each week but I can’t.Â But maybe, just maybe, God may use me to help ensureÂ our churchÂ continues to prevail.
To get future posts on leadership sent directly to you, pleaseÂ click here.
Also, to receive a FREE copy of my new eBook The 2011 Year In Hollywood Movies â€“ Leadership Edition, click here.