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More about church efficiency and effectiveness

I’ve been mulling over Skye Jethani’s question about efficiency and effectiveness after my brother Andrew prodded me with some comments on the original post. Andrew argues for prioritizing efficiency and effectiveness thusly:

If reaching people with the Gospel is the ultimate goal, then efficiency (the stewardship of resources towards the greatest gospel advance possible) and effectiveness (the fruit of that stewardship) is essential. We’re asking, ‘what do we have that is being used for missions, and how well is it doing its job?’ If you’re not constantly asking those two questions than you’re not really going to be ‘effective’..

I’m beginning to think that we actually more or less agree on the need for efficiency and effectiveness, but are looking at it in different perspectives. Because the goal is two-fold: “preach the Gospel”, and “make disciples”.

Now, maybe we can preach the Gospel most effectively by just taping the “best of” sermon series from and distributing it via video to every corner of creation. But does that help us with disciple-making?

Or does it possibly stunt our disciple-making efforts because it takes away opportunities for men to become teachers and hone their teaching skills, and for local pastors to tailor teaching to speak specifically to the needs of their local congregation?

We’re getting a ways off here from Jethani’s original point, maybe. And yeah, I’m sure any well-run megachurch is going to need an amazing elder board to hold it together. But I think we would do well to learn from the example long set before us: of small, local churches with local leadership, benefiting occasionally from the all-star teacher who was visiting town. Maybe efficiency and effectiveness comes through grassroots insurgency rather than from video sermon distribution.

Having written all that… if you need me, I’ll be off catching up on Matt Chandler’s podcast.

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