Practicing The Cheese Cake Factory Theology at Hopewell UMC
Churches that are thriving and growing are the one with a specific mission and identity, no competing agenda among members and have a teamwork mentality. Those churches are good in maximizing what they do well and subsequently investing in it. I call this, “Cheese Cake factory theology.” I first discovered the Cheese Cake Factory restaurant when my family and I lived in the city of DesMoines, IA. Whenever we were going to the Jordan Creek Mall, we didn’t miss the opportunity to stop at the Cheesecake Factory to grab something to eat.
What fascinates me about this place is first of all the menu. It is diverse and well presented. You always find your taste in small, medium or large portions. Secondly, the staff. A table can be assigned to a waiter or waitress, but everyone is on rotation. There is a sense of teamwork in that restaurant that I don’t see in many others. The third thing that is attractive is their identity. You know for sure that your dessert will always be a cheese cake of your choice. Recently they have put in place an effective online system when you can pick up your order on the curbside while you park in a designated spot.
The last four weeks, I have been studying our mission statement, vision and core values. I am amazed at the great work that went towards producing this blueprint. It was thoughtful, concise and relevant. Its true meaning and implementation, however, depends on us. It is up to you and me to set priorities and put in place a system that makes us as a church that lives up to its true identity.
We need a mechanism whereby we intentionally reach out to a new generation of believers and non-church goers in our community.
In the coming days and months our leadership will work towards this idea and prioritize areas of ministry that makes us a place of hope to our community and the complex world we live in. Our coming retreat in a couple of weeks is a step towards this ideal. I like what the psalmist says in Psalm 113:1-3 on how God works all along when with one accord we keep our eyes on what is essential as opposed to what separates us. (Psalm 133:1-3)
My plea to each of one of you is to continue to dream and excel in the spirit of fellowship, by giving the best of your gifts, skills and talents for the advancement of God’s Kingdom in our community.
In His Name,