“Everybody loves to win. Everybody loves when your team scores to take the lead. That is why we love momentum.”
Everybody loves being a part of something that’s winning: a family, a business, a team, a church. Everyone loves to win. And you can feel it—like in sports when the momentum starts to catch on and the crowd gets loud, then the other team scores, and it gets quiet—you lost momentum.
Dave Ramsey says, “When you have momentum you look better than you are … when you don’t have momentum you are better than you look.”
There are signs of momentum, such as good “problems”: We’ve got too much money, too many kids, not enough seats, we need more leaders. Signs of bad momentum include dreading meetings and not looking forward to the next event.
Momentum is something you feel … and that’s the problem. If you just feel it, how do you manufacture it? A nuclear engineer helped me understand. He wrote on the whiteboard one day the equation for momentum: P = mv, or for the lay person: Momentum equals mass times velocity. Velocity is speed with direction, so momentum is mass times speed with direction. Breaking this down helped me understand how to generate true momentum in our church.
Speed is distance per unit of time. Distance is number of steps times the size of each step.
Still with me?
Our direction is Jesus. So the way we as a church gain momentum is by taking a step toward Jesus.
Speed is distance per unit of time, so this means that if you take one step per year, that’s slow momentum. If you take one step per month, that’s decent momentum. But if you take one step per week, look out!
Let me translate this equation. If every person in our church (MASS) takes one step per week (SPEED) toward Jesus (DIRECTION), we have unbelievable momentum.
This was freeing to me, because momentum, true momentum in the body of Christ, is not:
- a person
- a style
- a band
- a building
- the age of the church
Those things are irrelevant. If we can get our entire church taking steps to be like Jesus, we are building momentum.
This is why you love the church! You describe it by saying:
- “There’s something in the air.”
- “The baptisms are so cool to see.”
- “I love hearing people tell their stories.”
- “The mission trips are amazing.”
- “Seeing people serve is inspirational.”
- “I love having authentic friendships.”
What you’re describing—what you’re feeling—is momentum! It’s a whole bunch of people taking steps toward Jesus, all at the same time.
Everybody loves to win. Everybody loves when your team goes on a scoring run to take the lead. That is why we love momentum. And the secret to momentum is not anything on the surface—it’s simply getting our people, this week, to take one step toward becoming more like Jesus.
Carl Kuhl is the lead pastor at Mosaic Christian Church in Elkridge, Maryland. This article is part of our From the Front Lines series, in which several church planters share what they’re learning as they lead their congregations.