Brave churches are particularly faithful churches, if you ask me. They make bold choices. They favor holiness over appearances. Their modus operandi is counterintuitive. How brave is your congregation?
- Your church staff currently consists of two Associate Pastors who are clergywomen, and the best candidate for Senior Pastor is also a clergywoman. Does your Search Committee a) select the male candidate who is not be best candidate but he ensures gender balance, b) select the clergywoman because – in spite of all efforts to call someone to create some gender diversity – it’s clear that the Holy Spirit is moving you to call her, or c) keep seeking “the right man” for the job.
- The sanctuary is clearly too large for the current congregation and all indications show a trend towards an even smaller worshiping community in the next decade. Does your congregation a) keep the same historical configuration because that’s how the architect planned it, b) reconfigure the sanctuary to accommodate current needs, or c) create a task force to discern whether or not the church needs a new pastor.
- A local business concern approaches your church leaders about buying the church property with an offer to rebuild church space on the property along with mixed income apartments. Do your leaders a) have a good laugh and then head to the trustees’ meeting, b) pray and talk together about the possibilities of partnering with the mixed income apartment people, or c) rally the troops to stand against big business.
Brave churches take risks, make mistakes, choose the unlikely, and consider all potentialities. It’s possible to be safe for so long that our congregation reaches a point of no return. The hopes for bold ministry are replaced with survival tactics.
Look around our communities and identify the brave churches. They are out there. They are the ones who are open to the ridiculously refreshing Spirit. Please tell me that your church is one of the brave ones.