The Most Awkward Question a Church Leader Can Face

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I want to ask you a question that is likely to make you squirm a bit.

But it’s one of the best church leadership questions I’ve ever encountered.

Do you like church?

Seriously. Do you really like church?

I was prompted to ask this question while having lunch recently with a good friend. He was telling me that his wife was in the final stages of landing a “Chick-fil-A” franchise, and he was explaining the various interviews that had been involved in the process.

As he explained the process I was growing increasingly impressed with Chick-fil-A’s integrity and thoroughness. But it was their final question in the final interview that stopped me in my tracks.

“Do you like chicken?”

It turns out that the company had once granted a franchise to an extremely qualified business person, only later to learn that the franchisee was a strict vegan!

She could run a strong business, but she could not, with any integrity, encourage people to “eat more chicken”, when she herself would not.

Since then, so my friend told me, Chick-fil-A has established a strict policy that each franchisee must be able to say with integrity that they do, in fact, “like chicken.”

It’s simple.

To the point.

Powerful.

That brings me to the awkward question for church leaders.

“Do you like Church?”

Seriously.

You might find something vaguely troublesome, even offensive about that question.

“After all,” you might reason, “I’m justified, sanctified, redeemed, washed in the blood, anointed, born again, cleansed, crucified with Christ, and filled with the Spirit.”

Good.

All important.

But do you like Church?

Do you like the board members who seem to nit-pick every decision?

Do you like the youth group who didn’t clean up after pizza night, again?

Do you like the group of seniors who complain every week about how “noisy” everything is?

Do you like the frustration of preparing a sermon that just doesn’t seem to come together?

Do you like church?

Do you like the rush of seeing someone far from God take a huge step towards him?

Do you like the thrill of seeing the love of God restore a broken home?

Do you like the miracle of seeing someone declare they have committed their life to Christ?

Do you like church?

Today’s post has no 5-step plan.

No 4 keys to a successful anything.

Just a question worth wrestling with.

Do you like church?

 

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Willow Creek Association. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave & Willow and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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