How to Get Out of a Rut 

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Forty-plus years ago, we started our spiritual community called Light of Jesus in a small garage. There were only thirty people. For the next seven years, we kept growing—from thirty people to two thousand members! 

But that was also the year we stopped growing. Two thousand members was like an iron ceiling. We couldn’t go beyond that, and we did not know why. We tried everything but stayed the same for nineteen years. 

Young people were no longer joining us, and our membership became older and older. I told the elders, “Look, if we don’t grow, we have to change our name from ‘Light of Jesus Community’ to ‘Light of Jesus Home for the Aged!” 

Then one day, we started to grow again because of one question that led to a radical overhaul of our organization. 

What was that question that made the huge difference?

We asked why 

We started to ask: “Why do we exist?” “Why are we here?” “Why do we do this?” “Why do we sing in this way?” “Why do we teach in this way?” “Why do we organize ourselves in this way?” 

God called us from the very beginning to be a light in the darkness. We’re supposed to reach out to those in darkness, to those who are outside our community. We woke up and realized our language, vocabulary, songs, structure, and focus were all for us insiders. 

We had a formation program-nothing wrong with it— except it was all internally oriented. We checked attendance. If you don’t attend a required number of meetings, you’re out. We had a certain standard that if you can’t follow, you’re out. We totally forgot Matthew 28:19 where Jesus says, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” 

We needed to go out into the world, share the Gospel, and understand that the Church will always be messy. Our community will always be messy because it exists for messy people. 

But we didn’t want the mess. “Oh, you sinned—you’re out.”

“Oh, you’re not praying enough—you’re out.” “My gosh, you’re committing this bad thing-you’re out.” We had an attitude that only holy people should be part of the community. 

So, we decided to overhaul how we did everything because of that one question: why? 

We changed our language for the unchurched. We changed the format of our meetings to suit outsiders. And that’s when we began to grow. Gosh, we had seven thousand people in just my gathering alone, and we had so many other Feasts elsewhere! 

Here’s my point: Maybe you’re caught in an endless loop right now. You are stuck and you feel like your life is going around in circles. 

Can I invite you to ask the question 

“Why?” Why are you here? Why are you alive? 

My prayer is that it will let you escape that loop and take you in the right direction. Then you’ll start to grow.

This excerpt was taken from BETTER TODAY THAN YESTERDAY by Bo Sanchez, available in paperback and e-book copy at!
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