The top of the curve


Hello friends,

I just had a pretty excellent meeting with my advisor at PTS. We were talking about things back here at Westminster, and how things have been going very well for us at Veritas. We were talking about how We've felt lately like things were working their way to autopilot. We know that every fall we're going to go to Laurelville. We know that every year we're going to have a ski retreat. We know that if we don't do Catacombs this weekend, the one right before Halloween, we're going to be in trouble. We know these things now after four years, so there are few surprises available.

Dr. Son reminded me that every congregation (including congregational subsets like youth ministries) have a life cycle. Typically, it looks like the graph above. You start with things very low, a rebuilding period (Veritas had 11 students when we first started here). With love, work, and patience, you begin to see growth in the congregation.

But at some point, with the same systems in place throughout, no matter how hard you work, eventually you'll hit the top of the curve. Things cannot go any higher than this the way you are doing things. And so your ministry will start to slip down the other side of the slope. Dr. Son also reminded me that this is typically when we get defensive about our ministries. People start saying things like "But we've always done it this way, so why would we do it any other way?"

The problem is, few congregations (and again here, I include youth ministries) see that they're on their way down until they're already slipping. Dr. Son's encouragement to me, and my encouragement to you, is that when you find yourself at the top of the curve, it's your duty to find new and exciting ways to preach the gospel of Christ. Maybe you need to shake up an event here or there, just to give it some fresh creativity. Imagine you used the plateau at the top of the curve as your starting point for a brand new curve! You'd be in a very unique place indeed.

This is something I'm going to be wrestling with a little bit in the coming weeks and months. I'd love to hear your thoughts about it!