I came away with a number of profound insights from this year’s re:group Conference. One of my most eye-opening moments happened toward the end of Training Leaders to Engage Culture, a second day breakout.
Pointing to Jesus’ ability to focus on core issues of the faith while moving time and again “toward the messes,” Tim Cooper emphasized that we need to treat core issues of the faith differently than peripheral ones (as Jesus did when he went to Matthew’s house).
“Address core issues of the faith differently than peripheral ones.”
To help train their leaders to distinguish between core issues and peripheral issues North Point developed a “beliefs assessment” that measures a leader’s ability to make the distinction. You can see their beliefs assessment right here.
Here are some tips to help distinguish core versus peripheral (from the Beliefs Assessment):
- Core issues are beliefs that are essential to faith.
- Christians have considerable differences of opinion about peripheral beliefs.
- While core issues have endured over time, many peripherals have changed over time.
- Even if something is peripheral, that does not mean it is unimportant.
- Statements about core beliefs can be pronounced publicly in the local church, but conversations about peripheral topics are many times better handled privately.
- Whether a topic is core or periphery determines how much energy and emotion it warrants.
In explaining the thinking behind the beliefs assessment, Cooper pointed out that “the more issues that are core to you the harder you make it for people to turn to God.”
“The more issues that are core to you the harder you make it for people to turn to God.”
Can you see their thinking? Have you ever thought through this tension? Have you ever trained your leaders to manage this tension?
What do you think? Have a question? You can click here to jump into the conversation.
- Training Leaders to Engage Culture
- Influencing Culture: Jesus’ Model vs the Pharisees’ Model
- Community for Everyone
- 18 Great Lines from Andy Stanley
Image by Luke Addison