Rethinking church – part 3 – Kill a sacred cow?


sacred cowRethinking church,

as I have been doing lately, is more than a hobby or intellectual exercise for me.

I think there is much at stake – for believers in Christ and for the kingdom of God.

But in order to truly “rethink” things as they are, you have to be able to imagine things as they “might be.”

Seth Godin is not (to my knowledge) a follower of Christ. But he’s a smart man who has a lot of God-given wisdom about human nature and how it impacts what we do.  Here’s a recent quote from the Seth-ly sage…

The most effective, powerful way to envision the future is to envision it, all of it, including a future that doesn’t include your sacred cows. Only then can you try it on for size, imagine what the forces at work might be and then work to either prevent (or even better, improve on) that future and your role in it.

Can you imagine a future for how you “do” church that doesn’t included the “sacred cows” of current church practices? Here are some examples you might want to try on for size…

  • Sound systems (We’ve gotta’ be able to hear what’s going on, right?)
  • Weekly sermons (I talk, you listen…)
  • Morning bulletins and announcements (But there’s so much going on… how will I know what programs to connect with?)
  • Budget meetings and congregational votes (This IS America after all, everyone should have a voice).
  • Large gatherings as the central part of corporate worship (Smaller groups aren’t really a “church”… right?)

And I wouldn’t advocate killing these just to kill them. Only if they seem to keep you from being what the church should be.

But more important than looking ahead with fanciful imagination, is looking behind…

…and asking some very important questions:

  • Did Jesus, or the Apostles intend the church to be an organization (as opposed to an organism)?
  • What are the “main things” the church is to be about in this world?
  • Are the things we’re currently doing as “church” leading us to accomplish or become those things?
  • Does the scripture teach us how to “do” church or how to “be” the church?

I think that if we are brave enough to make the attempt to reconsider some of these things, we might end up slaying some sacred cows (they make the best hamburger, by the way). And in doing so we just might be able to come to some practices that better move us toward BEING the church, instead of DOING church.

Where are you in this process? What are your thoughts? Please interact below…



2 thoughts on “Rethinking church – part 3 – Kill a sacred cow?

    • I’m not totally ready to whole-heartedly endorse any model, yet. But I can see a trajectory toward “smaller and simpler.” The only structure that seems to fit that well is a home-church model. However, then you have problematic issues to deal with regarding growth, biblical oversight, and others. I’m still processing… these posts are really just me thinking out loud as I go. I appreciate you sharpening me with your questions!

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