No Easy Answers


In Randy Pope‘s book, “The Prevailing Church,” he gives four fun questions for any ministry to wrestle through:

  • Will we set out to be huge or holy?
  • To be a place of worship or outreach?
  • To have fellowship or education?
  • To offer pastoral care of discipleship?

Whether or not you come to a final decision with these questions, it is more about the process a team goes through in battling over them.  Over time you will begin to see key patterns surface in your discussion, stating unconscious values.


~ by Dave Smith on February 12, 2008.

4 Responses to “No Easy Answers”

  1. Are the choices in the first 3 supposed to be mutually exclusive?

    Why does a church have to “partisan” on any of these issues? e.g. our church focuses on outreach vs. our church focuses on worship/discipleship.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but if a church didn’t aspire to be holy or worship or reach out or fellowship or disciple or provide pastoral care…would it be even be a church?

    Whatever happened to the BALANCED church?

  2. Well said Anthony. You have demonstrated the good use of these questions. The created a tension and forced you to state your value towards a “balanced” ministry approach. I agree with you on this.

    I think this then forces you to investigate your ministry and see where imbalances are occurring.

    At the same time, there are no “right” answers. Some churches come to a question like “huge or holy” and they determine that it is better to be smaller for more effective discipleship. So they set a bench mark of how big they will get and then beyond that it forces them into a church planting strategy. Not a “wrong” way, but a way for them based on the outcome of such a discussion and how and where their values land.

    Now, going back to the balance isssue…as we desire to strive for it in being effective in all areas…does that mean we give equal resources to each? Some say what you really value is where you put your money. I personally think churches do need to have an air of inequality when it comes to how funds are allocated.

    Again, it is how these questions surface your value structure. You may want them all…but when you start to resource them, you find yourself favoring one over the other at some level.


  3. Ok – if I understand your point, if a church can only do one (or some) things at an outstanding level because of it’s context (location, budget, passion, etc.) and others at a satisfactory level – how do we determine what those one things are?

    I think the huge vs. holy is a false dilemma. Deciding to be small is a tactical/strategic decision…negotiable. Being holy is not.

    I can appreciate the other dilemma…do we support the young marrieds discipleship as much as the youth outreach camp carl ministry in terms of budgeting, promotion, etc.?

  4. I’m not even sure I under what I said! :>)

    Great point in describing the different between huge and holy…I agree…yet also know that there are others the equate holy w/ small…or that the bigger you get, the less chance you have in maintaining an accountability towards communal holiness.

    Great question about the “Young Marrieds” discipleship versus…say, youth. Not sure how I would answer that. From the outside I think I would say youth get the greater support…but when you look at how The Chapel as a whole operates more under the “adult” mindet versus a youth one, indirectly YM gets the vote. That is how I would answer it. Thoughts?

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