Monday, February 19, 2007

Should Churches Only do What Works?

There is no doubt knowing where to invest the resources of a local church, like The Rock, is one of the most important issues for a leadership team to wrestle with. When decisions are made to eliminate ministry, a clear concise strategy is required to make certain the ministry will benefit elsewhere. In our history we have never eliminated anything without significant prayer, counsel and a plan to provide higher quality. The bottom line, every church must present ministries that line up directly with their vision and values. Anything less is a wasted effort.

The guys over at had an interesting post on this issue. Check it out here. I thought I would weigh in on the three things quoted from Craig Groeschel at

Craig said, "We stopped doing church sponsored sports?"

At TRC we have wrestled with this over and over. It has been my personal experience that Christian sports leagues often turn into the biggest whine sessions. I have seen it so much at the TVM Bowl, basketball leagues and softball. My last discussion with our guys who play sports went similar to Craig's. We agreed, why would we put ourselves in a Christian sponsored sports league only to be frustrated, play on sub par fields, and pretend that competitiveness is not in sports. If it is not supposed to be competitive, than why do we keep score? In my opinion The Rock Church would have a greater impact if we were in the rec leagues sponsored throughout Snohomish County. After all, there is no Christian Race Car league. Nevertheless we will continue with our one day sporting events like the TVM Bowl and March 3 on 3 tourney.

Craig said, "We stopped VBS because we reached more kids for Christ each weekend than we did during VBS (and with a lot less money and effort)."

There is a lot of truth to this one. Every year we do VBS and it is a week of hard work for our children's team. Though we have not eliminated it from the schedule, in my opinion if there is not greater interest this summer we may consider not doing it again. If VBS is something that cranks people up, then they should talk with Todd and Staci to help.

Craig said, "We stopped doing concerts because we were basically providing entertainment for Christians."

AMEN! In our experience with Christian Concerts, it is nothing more than entertainment for the already saved! Usually, the expense of bringing in a band is 3-10 thousand dollars and the offerings to cover expenses are minimal to say the least. However, it is still exciting to have a great concert in our venue and we will continue doing so as the Lord directs, but our intent will be to bless the hundreds of volunteers and attendees at The Rock. There is nothing wrong with a special night to honor those who make the church work!

Final Thoughts:
Certainly there are elements of churches that cannot be eliminated: Discipleship, salvation, water baptism, communion, Sunday's, student ministries, and 3 dozen other important ministries. Nevertheless, the burden to make certain those ministries are impacting, helpful, and effective rests upon the leaders of the church.

I am thrilled with our leaders who understand the power behind ministry. Numbers are not the only indicator of success, so much more also indicates the importance of a ministry. Only through prayer and grace can we really lead the church effectively through new seasons and the ending of old ones. Change is never easy, but always necessary. Yes, I broke the rules and used "never" and "always."