“An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
I’m sure you’ve encountered the above “Law of Inertia” or Newton’s first law of motion at some point in your life. Maybe you were in school, or perhaps you heard it on TV, or in some random conversation.
IN MOTION OR AT REST?
Think about a stalled car. It’s just sitting there. Moving a car which is “at rest” is hard. Once you start pushing the car and getting it “in motion” the pushing becomes easier. When you are “in motion” it is easy to stay “in motion.” This law works with churches as well.
When churches have momentum they are “in motion” and continue to be “in motion.” “In motion” churches begin new things; new services, new programs, new bible studies, new preschools, etc. They get rid of what doesn’t work (friction) and focus on what does. They add new people to ministries and leadership, enabling them to continue “in motion.” It is great to be an “in motion” kind of church. It is exciting!
As Newton says, an object keeps doing what it has always done. If it is ‘in motion” it continues. If an object (or church) is “at rest” it continues at rest. So an “in motion” church stays “in motion” but an “in rest” church stays at rest.
So how does a church (or anything) lose momentum? I’m not a physicist, but when friction enters into the picture as an “unbalanced force” working against the “in motion” the object begins to lose momentum.
For a church, friction comes in many forms: programs that no longer work, lack of money, lack of volunteers, lack of interest, people becoming less involved, removing staff, removing programming, etc., etc., etc.
SLOWING DOWN SLOWLY
We may not notice when friction begins slowing down the “in motion” though. It happens subtly, slowly, and quietly behind the scenes. Before the members of the church realize, their church is no longer “in motion.” Things aren’t as exciting as they once were and new things no longer happen. In other words, the church slowly coasts until it moves no longer.
THE POWER OF AN UNBALANCED FORCE
In order to get the church back “in motion” from a more “restful state” there needs to be an “unbalanced force” which acts upon it. WE are that unbalanced force! We are the ones who will provide that force to get the church “in motion” once again.
Remember the car? Yea. The stalled car. It is hard to get it moving. You have to push hard, but if you do, it starts moving. Then, it gets easier to push.
ARE WE WILLING?
It may be the same with the church. It will take more effort, time, and energy to get a stalled church “in motion” than it did to keep it in motion. The question is, are we willing and able to provide that force (or push)? Are we ready to be part of the “unbalanced force” crew?
That is what SP5 is about. It is about getting us moving. It is about moving forward! It is about following God as he leads us to places of blessings. If we do…we will be glad we did!