Every morning I take my children to school. And every morning we enter into the crazy car pool drop-off line. Crazy? Yes! Efficient? Well, that depends on whether or not you are in a hurry.
All the parents enter campus and snake their way around the school’s property, until they reach the designated drop-off point. This traffic pattern requires that one drive across eleven speed bumps, while moving very slowly. Now, while this trip circumscribes most of the school’s property, the cars continue to move. There is very little stop-and-go traffic.
A slow process? Yes. But, efficient and effective for moving hundreds of cars in a short period of time. . . while not running over the kids.
Any recalcitrant parent needing their Starbucks could easily take the short-cut, cutting their lengthy cruise across campus down to a matter of seconds. They could easily miss most of the speed bumps–hitting only two. They could be on and off the school’s property in a very, very short period of time.
Their disruption of the normative flow of traffic would cause a great delay that would ripple throughout the hundreds of cars already in the car pool line. Their interference would cause a breakdown in the entire system–hijacking the effectiveness (and efficiency) for everyone.
As I dropped off my kids this morning, I could not help but think about the great temptations that exist to short-cut the Church’s call to make disciples of all nations. Sometimes the shortest and seemingly most efficient route to accomplish the goal is not the healthiest way.
Sure, it will win the sprint for us. But after the sprint is over, we may be very surprised to realize that the race is actually a marathon. And we just ran out of energy!
What about you? Are there missiologies, ecclesiologies, philosophies, strategies, and methods presently being applied in your country that appear to be efficient but not effective for the task to which the Church is called? Are there any shortcuts being taken–and looking very efficient and successful–but are likely to result in poor health and chaos later?
Sometimes the drive around the building is the best way to go. Sometimes it is right and good to miss the opportunity to get a cup of coffee.