If You Had to Pick
Post by Pastor Buz
If You Had to Pick. . .
You know how this inquisitive game works. One person says, “If you had to pick one (fill in the blank, car, job, color, number, etc.) what would you pick?” Most naturally, the choices are not choices of good or bad, right or wrong, but of preference or degree. So, let’s play!
Let’s begin with three things that most Christian church members agree on.
- The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
- And the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself.
- The mission of the church is to make disciples.
With these foundational truths in front of us, let’s take another step. The next step includes three characteristics of church life. Now, remember, we are not talking about three things that are either right or wrong, but about three different characteristics that are important to all Christian churches (or should be).
1. This church (let’s call it church A) is known for producing. Producing what? Well, producing any number of things. They may produce leaders. If that is the case, many young men and women may be sent out to colleges, universities, and seminaries and go on to lead Christian organizations or initiatives. Church A may produce evangelists and missionaries who love the truth and want to serve anywhere and everywhere. This church may be known for their high doctrinal standards and produce serious-minded Christians who faithfully live out their witness in all kinds of vocations. Whatever Church A produces isn’t the real point. The point is this church is known for this characteristic. This distinction is so clear that people join this church precisely because of this distinctive.
2. Church B is known for its intimacy. In this church, you will find a variety of ways in which people connect and relate to one another. From one-on-one coffee shop meetings to small group affinity groups, to Sunday school classes, and more, these people love to speak into one another’s lives in biblical ways. When a visitor experiences a typical Sunday, there is an atmosphere of energy and affection that is readily perceived. Again, Church B is known as a church where members bear one another’s burdens and people who join this church join for that reason.
3. Finally, Church C is known for its ministry organization. In this setting, you will hear members celebrating the children’s ministry, evangelistic process, or perhaps the incredible music and worship experience. Members of Church C, are appreciative of the support staff of the church and the sensitivity they have for the needs of the members. The programs of the church are clearly defined and the practical needs of the participants are attended to. So, if transportation is needed, or child care is necessary, or special parking and assistance are needed, Church C is prepared. Members who attend this church are drawn to the organizational excellence that makes them feel a part of something bigger than themselves. The programs of this church are known beyond its walls and members are energized by being a part of the organization.
Okay, there you have it. Now, let’s play the game. “If you had to pick which one of these is most important or appealing to you, which would you choose?” Don’t forget, we all agree, all three are important and all three are needed in the church. You may find it helpful to recall that often used phrase, “No one can be all things to all people.” So, if that is the case, which is number one, number two, and number three in order of importance to you?
Which way do we go from here? Once a church has an idea of its strengths, that should reveal something about its weakness(es). If it does, then how should it respond? That’s next time.
As always, your feedback and comments are not just entertaining, but helpful and appreciated.