Why doesn’t our church do that?

“Why doesn’t our church do that?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that question. Another church, near or far, does something newsworthy, and the first question is, “Why aren’t we doing that?” It’s a good question, and I’ve thought about a few responses, some better than others.

When I first hear a question like that, I’m tempted to think, “Great, something else I have to do.” That is not at all true. It is just an opportunity, and more specifically, an opportunity for the person who brought it up to get involved. We should assume that if someone notices a need for ministry, then God is moving them to get involved in that ministry. So a better response is, “That’s a great idea. What’s your plan? Who are you going to get involved?”

But as I think about it further, I believe we also need to stop thinking about competing with other churches. If a congregation is doing a ministry, then we are too, if we truly believe that the “church” is just more than our local congregation. In effect, if another church is doing it, then our church is doing it, too, and the question becomes, “How can we can join them in their efforts?” We do not need to reinvent or clone every ministry, but can enhance what God is already doing. Maybe that’s part of the message he’s sending when we wonder, “Why aren’t we doing that?”

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