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But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.[1]

Matthew 25:26-30

There comes a time where we must make a decision. What will we invest in? It is a serious question and not a budget exercise. If we are going to be intentional and proactive, we need to make an investment. Jesus is after the best. It is criminal to live cautiously. Jesus said so. He means it.

At first that may be just time. Eventually it will be about people, our processes, our strategies and our technology. If we don’t become intentional in our approach to our digital disciple experiences, we will continue to be haphazard in our approach, reacting, responding, solving toxic experiences in real time. This intention, however, must be about heartfelt experiences. It must create a passion for our mission and God’s work. COVID taught many churches the need to be digital.

We must present the clear message of salvation all the time. Below is what I include in all my content. The message of the good news of Jesus is clearly lacking in most biblical digital experiences. We must do better.

We have good news! Want to know how to be saved? Click here or here for more.

There is of course, a very real cost to reacting. Scrutinize your budget and you will see that most of our fixed ministry expenses are reactionary.

  • What if we invested in proactive and intentional experiences of the heart up front?
  • Could we radically reduce our reactionary and bloated fixed expenses?
  • In fact, my guess is the reactionary expenses vastly exceed proactive expenses.
  • I know ministries that are ramping up their expenses in reactionary engagement and relationships.
  • The good news is that they are succeeding in shifting the negative to neutral or even the positive.

So, what is the outcome of taking a negative and balancing it with a positive? Is it engagement or damage control? So what is the cost and value of neutralizing the negative? Shouldn’t we start with the amazing? What is the return on that investment in the stunning? What is most concerning is that most ministries are not measuring much of this. And why are we struggling to raise more money? Why don’t we have the reach we should for the Good News (Gospel). Why is our revenue flat? Why are members not engaged and increasing their contributions?

Is the experience we are creating wonderfully sharable? If not, what is our investment over the next 3 months going to be in changing that? We must invest in not only a positive experience but an experience that screams out for our members, volunteers, and donors to share it with everyone they know. That encourages others to join in. It also offsets any negative experiences anyone else has shared. Think about it. We all read the ratings and comments. If there are one hundred over the top ones, we can ignore the one that is virally negative writing it off to a weirdo.

What is the biggest deal? Trying to offset the negative experiences or proactively creating amazing ones? Creating amazing ones is everything. That is not an exaggeration. You know, from your own experiences, that it is true. The cost of reacting is always eclipsed by the upside of the stunning.

Think of what you want. You are a consumer. You are the disciple who wants something from your ministry. Are you looking for the ordinary? No, you are looking for an experience with Jesus, no, the experience. You want it to be amazing.

Any ministry that recognizes you, remembers you, and gives you an amazing disciple experience will win your heart. And it is all about your heart. You will be loyal to them no matter what. That is what we know as relevance. A passion of our heart that transcends anything else.

And so, that heartfelt experience is not just a so-so something. That heartfelt, amazing experience is everything. That kind of vision is the father of innovation. Who needs the mother of invention in that kind of world?

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 25:26–30). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.