Every Friday this fall, I’m doing a series titled “First Impressions Fridays.”  These posts are specifically designed for the First Impressions Teams at all of our campuses, but hey, read it anyway.  You might learn something useful.

Don’t let your mouth write checks your body can’t cash.

I heard that phrase tossed around a lot in middle school, usually by some burly eighth grader with a mustache and muscles on top of muscles while I was exercising my spiritual gift of being a smart aleck.  Yup…mouthy then, mouthy now.

But lately, I’m convinced that church people write a lot of checks with our mouths that we never intend on cashing with our bodies.  Here’s what that looks like…

“I’m sure we can help you with that.”

“I’ll get back to you later this week.”

“I’ll have ____ follow up.”

“No worries.  I’ll take care of it.”

And more often than not, we don’t help and we don’t get back and ____ doesn’t follow up and it’s not taken care of.  And it’s frustrating.  It’s bothersome.  It chips away at the integrity and credibility of the one who makes the promise or infers the commitment.

If I’m being painfully honest, that kind of junk happens too often in the church world, and it happens way too often at the Summit.  Sure, we’re big.  Sure, we’re spread out.  Sure, systems get broken and phone calls get misrouted and e-mails get accidentally deleted.  But in the end, when that’s the rule and not the exception, we lose credibility.

As the Connections Pastor, I hear more horror stories about this than you can imagine.  And every time I hear one, my heart breaks because we’re losing credibility.  (Even now, some of you are reading this and thinking, “That reminds me, Franks…you told me two months ago that you’d…”  I know.  I’m sure I’ve let something slide somewhere that I’m not even thinking about.  Contact me and I’ll make it right.  Seriously…call me out on it in public below.)

Whether you’re a pastor or a First Impressions Team member, you can’t afford to let things like this slip.  It’s better not to promise than to promise and not deliver.  Write it down.  Make a plan.  Follow through.  Or else, keep your big mouth shut and don’t infer that you’ll do what you’ll never actually do.

Don’t let your mouth write checks that your body can’t cash.