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Upward > Inward > Outward2 min read

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PastorDerwinGrayAndVickiAll 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?  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.