Thursday, September 23, 2010

Built to Last

   Henry Ford is famous for founding of the Ford Motor Company and for developing the assembly line process of mass-production.  His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry.  Ford is counted as one of the great visionary companies of all time, and is widely studied for its longevity and legacy.
   Did you know that Henry Ford did not start the company because he thought the Model T was a great idea?  In fact, he did not develop that model until 1908 - five year after the company was started.  First he rolled out Models A, B, C, F and K.  Ford Motor Company was actually one of 502 companies started between 1900 and 1908 to build automobiles!
   Jim Collins, best-selling author of great business and leadership books, has found that some of the most enduring companies were founded long before they figured out what their 'great idea' would be.  The great ideas often come later.
   None of us know exactly what was going through the minds of those few dozen who gathered on Rosemont Drive on September 25, 1960.  We have no records of grand visions, or elaborate strategies.  Probably because there were none.  They simply intended to start something that would help them, and help others.  They set out to start a Methodist church in this neighborhood, because that is how they were led.  I'm glad they did.  For this church has touched the lives of thousands, through our worship, our study, our service, and our presence.
   Despite the great 50 years we celebrate this week, I believe we are an example of an enduring organization that has not yet figured it all out yet.  We are impacting lives and doing great ministry, but we remain a work in progress.  I love that about this church.  We are willing to move forward, without all of the answers.
   Happy Birthday Epworth United Methodist Church.  May we all continue growing in God's grace.

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