Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Mission and Maintenance, Again...

I once blogged about a commonly-promoted false alternative in the LCMS, "Mission vs. Maintenance".

Recently, I was checking out church websites doing some "forward scouting" for some members of our congregation who are moving. And in a church newsletter posted online, I found this blurb:

In measuring the effectiveness, the maintenance congregations
asks, “How many pastoral visits are being made:” The
mission congregation asks, “How many disciples are being
made?” ——taken from “Issues”

First, I should point out they are NOT quoting from the radio program, "Issues, Etc." but from the print journal out of Concordia, Seward, "Issues in Christian Education".

Second, I am peeved again that the false alternative between mission and maintenance is alive and well.

Third, I notice the focus of the mission approach is on results, and the focus of the maintenance is on process? That reminded me of the recent insightful post by the Lutheran Logomaniac.

But really, this obsession with counting has got to stop. Measuring, assessing, visioning, revitalizing, all these secular/business approaches which actually keep us from doing what we should be doing - preaching, teaching, and confessing the Gospel of Jesus Christ - to anyone who will hear it - even if they are already members of our congregation!


elephantschild said...

What always creeps me out is the tacit assumption that the existing members of the congregation don't matter and that they aren't worth good pastoral care. Grrrr.

Frank Gillespie said...

Pastor, doesn’t the phrase “Maintenance Ministry” go back to the mid seventies? I’ve used the phrase several times on the mission boards I sit on after I got called a “useless wordsmith” for wanting us to state in our mission statement that the purpose the Church is to feed Christ’s sheep. You wouldn’t think that making such a statement would cause offense but…