A Motor Car for the Multitude
Somewhere around 90% of American households own a car, but that wasn't always the case. A hundred years ago, the automobile was not accessible for most of the population. Then, along came Henry Ford.
He once quipped that if he gave people what they wanted it would be a faster horse. Suffice it to say, he had another idea. And peering into the future, Ford used his words to create a world where his dreams would become a reality. In 1913, in the company magazine, Ford Times, he wrote:
I will build a motor car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one - and enjoy with his family the blessings of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces.
It's been said that in this "democratizing the automobile" speech, Henry Ford did four things. First, he painted a picture with words that make it easy to imagine a family driving out in the "wide-open spaces" of the country. Second, he solved a problem, by making accessible a previously expensive, luxury item that working class families could neither afford nor maintain. Third, Ford stirred the heart, with appeals to freedom and adventure. Last but not least, he "God-sized" his vision by "thinking grand and help[ing] his listeners see another world. No one at that time could see highways without horses."
John F. Kennedy did the same in his 1962 "Man on the Moon" speech. For a biblical example, look no further than God's instructions to Abram in chapters 12-15.
Our church leadership has sought to do the same in our 2030 Vision, alluded to in last week's Congregational Meeting:
By 2030, Good Shepherd will transform from a house of God to a home in Christ for thousands of residents in the surrounding area. We will warmly welcome individuals home into the family of God by creating space where they can be who they are and become who God created them to be. Southern California leaves many like sheep without a shepherd, tossed back and forth by the wind and the waves of a fast-paced, fragmented culture. While this affects all generations, it has increasingly confused young people by clouding the good news of the gospel. Therefore, we will live out the name of our church, embodying the Good Shepherd, by seeking out and leading others into the family of God, that together, we might grow up into Him who is the head of the church. Our church campus will become a missionary outpost that exhibits a foretaste of heaven, brimming with all generations and every ethnicity. We will take personal risks to lead others to the good news of the gospel. Today we gather as comfortable worshippers. Tomorrow we scatter as passionate front-yard missionaries.
"But, that's just 12 years away!" you might be thinking. And you're right! It is certainly God-sized!
It's our hope, in addition, that this vision also paints a picture, stir our hearts, and solves a problem that we can all join together to achieve.
How could you join in the work toward this vision?
In the coming weeks we'll specifically engage four initiatives our church leadership is focused on over the next three years: Church Wide Discipleship, Leadership Development, Next Generation Ministry, and Creating Space to Belong.