A few years ago, Cathy and I decided to sign up for a fitness class at the local community college. Arizona Western College is about a half mile from our house and we discovered we could sign up for the class, then get to use their fitness center for the semester. We audited the class -- it was fitness we were after -- and the cost was much less than a commercial health club.
We noted when registration was open and drove over to the campus to sign up. We had our identification and residency information ready as we hopped out of our car. Then we walked toward the administration buildings.
Problem. We couldn't tell from the signs which building to enter. It seemed like we walked around to two or three different buildings or entrances before we finally figured out where we were supposed to be.
Once signed up, we were directed to the business office to pay for the classes. Again, we had to search to finally arrive at the right place.
I should say here that neither Cathy nor I are blind. At least one of us (ahem) has a pretty good sense of which direction is North. And we both know how to read maps. After finding our way that first time, we had a pretty good idea of what was where.
On the other hand, had we been less motivated, we might have just got back in the car and drove home.
Once you have been to a place, you can pretty well figure out how to get back. (Unless, I discovered, it's in Boston -- but that's a whole 'nuther story.)
We had to face a question in our church a couple of years back. What if we looked as challenging to new attenders as AWC was to Cathy and me? Not that our campus is that big or confusing. But we frequently have attenders who are trying to figure out what their next spiritual steps are. What if they attend Stone Ridge and leave as directionless as they arrive?
Those questions drove us to simplify what we do to three, easy-to-remember steps. Love. Grow. Serve.
I'll tell you more tomorrow.