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Insight 182: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Differentiating Between Sacred Cows and Fruitful Traditions

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRWhile congregations seeking to transform are willing to address and eliminate sacred cows, they are also able to differentiate between sacred cows and fruitful traditions. Queen and Davis in Hopeful Imagination [2014] put it this way: “Not all traditions are sacred cows that need to be put out to pasture. Many traditions have endured for a long-term for good reason: they are meaningful and fruitful.” [83]

The challenges in this differentiation include defining the difference between a sacred cow and a fruitful tradition, and describing the difference to people who hold fast to non-fruitful traditions that have become sacred cows.

Insight 181: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Boldy Addressing Sacred Cows

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform are willing to deal with the sacred cows in their midst. Bill Easum wrote a book some years ago entitled Sacred Cows Make Gourmet Burgers. In it he called on congregations to move dramatically beyond those cultural practices they have held up as sacred that keep them from making progress.

Queen and Davis in Hopeful Imagination [2014] put it this way: “Most traditions are not bad. If they were, it would be easy to let go of them. What is difficult is letting go of something good in order to make room for something great.”

Is Your Denomination Unintentionally Drifting or Intentionally Shifting?

WorldviewchangesLook at your denomination and at those around you, and you will notice a lot of drifting and shifting. Drifting is generally unintentional and shifting is generally intentional. Just look at the denominations who have held regular national/international assemblies this year and you will see various patterns of drifting and shifting.

My consulting work is with a lot of denominations across the theological and ecclesiological spectrum so I regularly observe the drifting and shifting. At times it is more difficult to observe the patterns of transition and change in your own denominational family with any objectivity. My denominational family is Baptist. One denomination within that family--Cooperative Baptist Fellowship--observes it 25th anniversary this year. Like many newer denominations which have emerged in the past four decades, they are still trying to figure out who they are, and who is in and who is out.

They began by generically calling themselves "Moderate Baptists". In recent times an increasing number of CBF participants refer to themselves as "Progressive Baptists". Which are they? Are they one or the other? Are they both? Is that possible? What is the difference?

This week I posted some questions for anyone related to CBF to answer. Keep reading and discover my questions and what some people are saying in response.

Continue reading "Is Your Denomination Unintentionally Drifting or Intentionally Shifting?" »

Insight 180: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Following God’s Purpose

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLR“When you start following God’s purpose, God will start making ways.” [Queen and Davis, Hopeful Imagination, 2014] Congregations desiring to transform follow God’s purpose first, last, and all along the way. They surrender their purpose to God’s purpose. They move along a continuum from success to significance toward the goal of surrender to God’s purpose.

As they progress along this continuum they are bolstered by the reality that God is making a way for their transformation to take place. They have self-awareness that it was not by their effort, but by their willing dependence on our God who transforms.

Insight 179: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Being Deep Rather Than Shallow

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCongregations seeking to transform move beyond shallow spiritual and social relationships to deep relationships. In praying they do not engage in shallow prayers that speak in general about their praise for God, one another, with ignorance of the hopes and hurts of their congregation and their community context.

They encourage people to share deep and personal prayer concerns so that real life hopes and hurts of specific people can be addressed in various prayerful ways. Shallow congregations do not trust one another with their real life issues. They believe that hoarding their hopes and hurts is superior to sharing them.