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When to Push the Envelope & When to Keep it More Subtle…

I first became aware of your work back in 2007, just after Granger made headlines for the “Real Sex” series promotion, which included some suggestive billboards around town. Some people said you went too far with that. How do you know when to go big, to push the envelope, and when to keep things a little more subtle?

There’s no simple answer for this question—and I get this question a lot. Speaking the language of our culture is always going to take us into places of uncomfortable tension because we have the burden of knowledge and desire for purity. And, like every topic under the sun, there will be liberal and conservative debates about it. But, I think it’s worth the risk and you have to find where your own personal conviction lies. It’s different for every church and maybe even different for each pastor on staff at the same church.

Last year, we did a series called “Sex for Sale” and we were fine with it. No moral conflict whatsoever. Ironically enough, the series won us hate mail and phone calls from people who called us evil and corrupt and reported us to the Attorney General and Better Business Bureau. (I kid you not.)

I don’t fear the wrath of what other church people think about the risks we take. Instead, I fear the thought of people who will live an eternity without experiencing Christ. Sometimes, we have to lower the bar so someone can accept the invitation to a higher bar. (I stole that line from John Burke.)

(Excerpt from Ministry Matters Interview | 4 in series of 6)