I'm sitting in my favorite chair cooling down after a workout at our health club and flipping through the notebook I received at the Catalyst One-Day Conference which I attended in early May. Several of my notes are jumping off the page as I mentally rewind the sessions I attended.
Here are a few of the notes I took during a session Andy Stanley led that was titled "Don't Be That Couch." (Andy used a great illustration in this session that keyed on the reluctance many of us have to get rid of that old couch.)
Programming and music are what defines your church in the minds of people. All programming was designed to answer a specific question or address a specific need. Whereas programming begins as an answer to a question, over time it becomes part of organizational culture.
As culture changes, many of the questions remain the same, but the answers don't. The tendency is to institutionalize our answers. If we institutionalize an answer, the day will come when it is no longer an answer. (The reason we institutionalize our answers is we have dedicated staff and resources to coming up with the answers.)
We must be more committed to our Vision than to our programming. When what we are doing no longer supports our Vision... then get rid of it.
What programs have we fallen in love with that are really not as effective as they used to be? What are we emotionally attached to? What are we continuing to do even though it's not really working?
Don't let anything be off-limits for debate in your church. Vision doesn't change... the plan to accomplish your Vision does.