Stadia Values: Urgency
Almost everyone knows someone and probably works with someone who writes things like IMPORTANT or PLEASE READ in the subject lines of an absurdly high percentage of their emails. They probably also use too many exclamation points!!!
Sometimes, I am the person, and the problem with being that person is that when everything is urgent, nothing is. In some ways, a misunderstanding and misuse of “urgency” is an unsurprising evolution of our immediate and on-demand culture (or at worst, 2 days later with Amazon Prime shipping). At work, it has led to bosses who want everything yesterday. At home, it has led to kids who don’t understand when their friend doesn’t answer their FaceTime call right away so they can get down to some serious Roblox together. Work life balance slips. Anxiety increases. Expectations become unrealistic. And the only way to meet those expectations is to behave urgently.
When behavior becomes urgent, we start to redefine urgency as haste. If my boss needs everything yesterday, then I better work on this pile of tasks fast. Post haste. That’s where error starts to show up, and that just makes the anxiety worse. Haste is a “rapidity of motion” and “rash and headlong action.” Headlong means “in a rush; with reckless haste.” When urgency is defined as a behavioral value, it becomes haste. It becomes reckless and breeds errors and anxieties and damages relationships. So, when urgency starts being redefined as haste, it’s no surprise that urgency becomes a value people may hate.
Urgency is my favorite of Stadia’s values, and along with our value of Children, it is the only value that is right up front in our vision. We won’t stop until every child has a church. We WON’T STOP.
Properly defined, Urgency is a motivation. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a force or impulse that impels or constrains.” When urgency is a motivation, it is powerful.
My neighbors don’t go to church. Thousands of people in my county and billions of people around the world don’t have a church home where they can find loving community, be fulfilled, pour into others, and most importantly grow in their relationship with a Savior who died for them and has a deep love for them. Billions of people don’t have what I have and what most of the people reading this have, and that makes me sad. I want to see them light up when they recognize in themselves the image of God. I want to see them surrounded by a community that will love them, walk with them, and simply lament with them when they face hardship. And that motivates me.
In Luke 15, a father sees his son whom he thought was likely gone from his life forever, and filled with compassion, he ran to his son, threw his arms around him, and kissed him. He didn’t wait on the porch. No. More than he didn’t. He couldn’t. The urgency born of his compassion compelled him to run to his son. He didn’t know what the son was going to say. Their parting hadn’t been great. But that isn’t what mattered. The father loved the son, and instead of waiting for the son to come to him, he ran out to embrace his son. Because of urgency.
How can I sit idle when there are billions of people in need of that embrace? Billions of people who may not know it yet, but will benefit from a local church who embraces them. So, we need a lot more, urgently.
We WON’T STOP until every child has a church!
VP OF MISSION SUPPORT
Matt lives in North Beach, MD and is married to Becky Murphy with two kids, Ariella & Rex, and one dog: Ravenclaw. Matt has been a part of four church plants in the DC/Baltimore metro area. Matt was previously the Executive Pastor for Revolution Church in Annapolis, MD, and before that, was the Project Manager for the Siemens Center for Applied Medical Imaging MRI R&D group at Johns Hopkins University.