In his book, See You at the Top, Zig Ziglar shares this story; “Several years ago in Columbia, South Carolina, a young cookware salesman sat In my office. It was in early December and we were talking about plans for the next year. I asked him, “How much are you going to sell next year?” With a big grin on his face he said, “I’ll guarantee you one thing; I’m going to sell more than I sold this year.” My comment and question was, “That’s wonderful. How much did you sell this year?” He smiled again and said, “Well, I don’t really know.”
Somewhat intriguing, yet sad at the same time. Intriguing that this man wanted to better himself – raise his goal from year to year. Yet, it is sad that he knew not his current position nor where he had been in terms of sales. Ziglar wrote, “Here was a young man who didn’t know where he was, and no idea where he had been but, with the confidence that generally goes with ignorance, he knew where he was going.”
Upon reading this story again this morning the question came to mind, “Are God’s children, God’s church today living much the same? As we plan for this year, our stated plans are to reach more people, grow more disciples, have more in attendance…yet we fail to elicit “more” than what.
Before we can set a goal of more, we must first understand where we are at – our true net worth on the subject and on God’s scale. Like the young man in our story, if we do not know how many pots and pans we sold last year, how can we say confidently that we plan to sell more this year? We must first understand the reality of our present situation. Many churches do not. We know we can do better, but we focus on being alright.
The general perception is, “It’s okay. This is a new year. It’ll be a better year.” While we are called to “wait on the Lord…” we are not expected to sit back, fold our arms, and wait for God to do the work that He has called us to. Understanding the true position of where we are individually and as a church body is only the first step and generally due to our own biases not unearthed without the assistance of an outside unbiased coach.
Let us not continue to act out of our own ignorance (not knowing), rather let us seek to understand the reality of our current position. It is then alone that we will be able to move forward with a true plan to glorify God as should be our ultimate goal.