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Status Quo is the Devil in the Details

Now that I have happily mixed idioms, let's break them down.

Status Quo: desire to preserve a current status rather than invite change.

Devil (is) in the Details: small things in a plan or scheme that are often overlooked can cause more serious problems later on.

A friend of mine and I were catching up on a couple of missed decades this weekend. Now that he is back in town and looking for a church, our conversation turned towards the type of worship and serving he enjoyed and the type of church he saw himself easily fitting into.

His response was, I want to be somewhere that is "not status quo". He admitted he had been to his childhood church and that he was shocked that after being gone for more than 2 decades, the same folks were still there, sitting in their same places, singing the same songs and being led by the same ministry team. While that provided about 10 minutes worth of fuzzy, warm nostalgia, it hit him like a rock that nothing had changed. NOTHING HAD CHANGED!!!!

After the service, my friend inquired if there were any *new* ministries being done that he could be involved in. The answer he received was simple and frightening: No. While a small percentage of the faces in the church had changed over the years, the leadership had not. The same budget was in place, thereby allowing only for a small number of ministries, all within the doors of the building. The leaders had decided not to push asking for additional offerings for expanding ministries as they felt that everyone was pressed enough as it is with both time and money and to ask for more of either would cause hard feelings that could lead to some of the congregation leaving.

So, if not now, when? When is a good time to stop being status quo? Do we have a milestone in mind?

When is a good time to start living as Christians more than one day out of the week? When is a good time to be less comfortable in our own lives and more comfortable with where God would lead us to serve Him?


The devil is in the details.... and he has a big BUT.

But that would take too much of my time.
But that would mean I need to be fiscally responsible (budget).
But that would mean I may have to talk to strangers.
But that may mean I had to deal with other people's kids.
But we don't have that kind of talent around here.
But that could get in the way of my (insert your own hobby here).
But what would my (spouse, child, co-worker, friend, family) think?
But why can't someone ELSE do "it"? They are better at "it" than me.
But I would rather not do that, it isn't my "thing".
But that would take a lot of planning and resources, none of which we have.
But then we'd be accountable and we can't take that risk.
But what if I/we fail?
But other churches don't do that.
But there are already other organizations that do that, why should we?
But that wasn't in our annual plan, budget, agenda.
But it's not our fault that people make mistakes, why should we help them?
But what's wrong with what we're doing now?
But I don't know how.
But I am too young, too old, too busy working, too quiet, too loud, too nice, too stressed, too tired.
But I HAVE MY OWN PROBLEMS TO DEAL WITH!

(details, details) pppppffffffftttt.

It takes a lot of excuses and stubborness to maintain status quo. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit moving in our churches and in our lives to move us beyond the details and into the mission.

Status quo is not what God intends for us. His Salvation is an invitation to life in Him, not an invitation to live as we choose. To stay out of status quo we must move past our own "buts" to embrace Christ's plan for our life, our church and The Church.

My prayer is that we never get stuck in status quo.

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