Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Principal of Progress

Progressive…I hear that word a lot in ministry talk. I like dictionary.com’s definition, “favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are.” I would consider myself a “progressive” guy, thought I doubt if anyone in ministry would say they were not. A possible leadership principle may have emerged last week when the guys from Church Development Fund came to town. As I have blogged before, they recommended us replacing the pews in our sanctuary with removable chairs. They said we could likely fit more people into chairs than pew. But they also added, “If it does nothing else, it will communicate a more progressive atmosphere.” Also, “If you ever move to a second service it may be easier for people toe accept the change.”

This logic got me thinking. Should a ministry team utilize every opportunity to make progress? Something is telling me the answer is no. Progress isn’t cheap. Progress may step on the toes of stewardship. Progress could exacerbate creative energies. The pursuit of progress in-and-of-itself is not a biblical value.

But the harsh reality is that we live in shallow world. People are not ready to make needed changes without years of being prepped for progress. People will spend hundreds of dollars to feel like they are making progress. A lack of progress will turn away creative people. The pursuit of progressing the Gospel’s Mission is very much biblical. Therefore, I am not willing to let go of the possibility of the Progress Principal.

I am forming a mental list of ways my church/youth ministry has passed up opportunities of progress (which will never be posted on the net). I am also looking limitations to this principle, ie. when not to progress. Outside input would be appreciated.

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