All good visionary organizations have not only a vision statement, mission statement, and value statement, they also have a motto that encapsulates them all in a memorable, pithy statement. This past weekend at the Exponential West conference at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Irvine, CA, I heard just such a motto. It was delivered by Derwin Gray, former professional football player and now pastor of a growing mega church outside Charlotte called Transformation Church. Their motto? Â Upward, Inward, Outward.
This motto isn’t exactly unique, but it is simple, clever, memorable, and has within it the implication of a progression. Some churches use the words Win, Build, Send, but I find this almost self-explanatory. But here’s what I make of it.
- Upward – First, if we want to be changed, we look upwards towards God, and get that relationship initiated and growing.
- Inward – Then, we build healing and life-giving relationships within our families and the community of faith. No one can grow completely, or even significantly, without a faith community, because the essence of true spirituality is learning to love, forgive, and serve others.
- Outward – The final step in the growing process (though there is also a cycle here, call it an upwards maturity spiral) is bringing the love and truth we have out to the hurting world, through works of service and evangelism.
That’s it, just a short way to think of spiritual development. Now let’s do it.