For some reason this week, I keep running into — or perhaps God keeps steering me into some of the questions that define us as a church. (Click Questions for the first set.) I’ve been thinking about — or perhaps God keeps bringing to mind — some of the questions that define us as a church. There are a handful of defining church questions that shape us, whether we intentionally answer them or not. Here are a couple more that I’m pondering…
1) How do we manage the tension between a Pioneering spirit and a Settler’s spirit? You know what I mean?
Pioneers strike out for new land. Pioneers take risks. Pioneers are willing to die to see what’s in the next valley over the mountain. The pioneer prefers expansion over a well managed settlement. I tend toward pioneering but I value the settlements. It’s not an either/or problem to be solved, it’s a tension to be managed. But I think churches have a natural tendency to settle and put more and more of our resources, time, and energy into taking care of the settlement rather than pioneering the next expansion.
2) Who gets the ear of the church? When it comes to budget time who gets to vote. When it comes to decisions who has the most influence? I would guess that each of us could come up with a segment of the church that we think is being heard, or should be heard — but aren’t being heard. With passion, I agree, there are people who need a voice that we are not hearing. But let’s dig into that one a bit more…as we make decisions, vote on budgets, ponder strategies and goals, who are the people that should be heard, but aren’t being heard? Here is my list of people we should hear, that might not have a voice in our decisions —
- – PSU students who never go to church but get drunk 3 weekends a month, or more.
- – The single parent who is too drained to get up on Sunday and go to church.
- – Every person whose heart has been damaged by sex outside of God’s beautiful plan.
- – The retired couple who no longer have a purpose for living.
- – Children that are growing up in a fractured family.
- – The students at State High who don’t have a friend.
I could keep going, but you get the idea. When it comes to the decisions that move us forward, sometimes the people who need it the most, have no vote. The church that votes in abstentia for those who are not there yet…make decisions that thrill the heart of God.