Assumed Values

One of the values we have at Five Oaks that we rarely mention--we just assume everybody shares it and knows it--is that people should not be so busy with church meetings and church programs and church stuff that they don't have time to invest in the lives of people missing from God's family. One of the reasons we "fight" to keep things streamlined and focused on small groups is because the natural thing to do is to multiply programs and busyness centered on the church and then forget the unchurched.

Sometimes folks want to start a program that is primarily or exclusively outreach in orientation. That's another matter that has to pass by some other filters before it's given the go-ahead. But most church programs people want to import don't really fit that category.

I think I forget to mention this value because we've found that most people in our church get it. They go to their small group, participate in service with their small group and serve on weekends, and they pretty much balk at the idea of showing up for another thing at church. But when someone is really passionate about a program they'd like to see at Five Oaks, sometimes we need to state or re-state this assumed value. We need to remind them that our mission is carried out in the world, not by attending one more program for the already convinced within these walls.

This is hard to do. Rarely does anyone thank our leaders for saying "no" to things that would keep them off mission, busy and burn them out. Who would think to? Who is even aware of it? And no "thank you" is needed. It's also hard because the unchurched aren't around to say, "Thanks for working to keep your members engaged in my life and caring about me while I keep living for me and not for God." Not gonna happen. But the pressure to add is always there and saying "no" is hard to do. But we'll keep doing it! Besides, I know you guys. You wouldn't show up anyway. You'd just keep going to your small group. serving and reaching out.