Have you ever been trampled by a sacred cow in your ministry? I remember in January of 1999 our church announced that the upcoming Sunday evening service would be cancelled to make room for a Super Bowl party. This party would be an outreach to invite friends – you know, you’ve all done it by now. The following Monday morning, a couple (who had been members for over 20 years) stopped by the church to inform us that they would no longer be attending and that they wanted their $3,200 offering check from the day before… back! Sacred cow? Evening service!
Another couple I visited asked if we were going to start singing more hymns on Sundays. I told them that we would likely sing less hymns over time. “Okay, thank you. We will begin going to another church then.” Sacred cow? Hymns!
Another person left our church when I stopped wearing a coat and tie on Sunday mornings. Another sacred cow.
Sacred cows can be buildings, church furniture, service times, platform arrangement, Bible versions, pastoral visits, and even dress codes. How can we as pastors of 200churches change these areas while avoiding stepping and slipping on those fresh, steaming cow patties in our churches? After slipping and sitting in too many of them, I have some ideas for properly killing a sacred cow.
But first, consider these thoughts:
So, for those in the third category, here are a few questions you should ask:
As pastors of 200churches, our people should know how much we love and value them, but also that we are committed to killing sacred cows if they are in the way of us accomplishing our Jesus-mandated mission. For 200churches, the only thing more important than our people is our God-given purpose called the Great Commission. If a sacred cow is in the way, the most important question we can ask is: medium, or well done?!
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