This week at work, I’m helping finalize the transition away from a summer activity that threatened to become a sacred cow around here. Our church is actually pretty good about not revering such bovines, but at 5 years running for this event, we still ran that risk.
(Though that’s not why we’re killing it; we’re moving forward in discipling our people in outreach, and a new activity made sense here.)
But all this leads me to ask you what sacred cows hang out in your ministry. They may even simply be “sacred calves,” only a year or two old but still beloved… and a little revered.
If you want an inoculation, I think I might have an idea: Audit everything for one day this summer. Think through every form, every activity – big or small. Anything, really, that you’ve been doing for a few years or more. This could be as small as “we meet in this room” or “our small groups always have ten people,” or as big as your annual Service Day or the existence of a Large Group Meeting each week.
And then just work through each one, asking yourself, If we started over, would we still do this?
Answering No doesn’t automatically mean that sacred cow gets the ax. Tradition, momentum, and “it’s working” aren’t shabby reasons to consider keeping something. (But they aren’t trump cards, either.) But answering No means you consider sending this cow (or calf) to pasture, either now or later. And you pray for the bravery to do it if it’s needed.