Will Your Church Survive the Branding?

A New York family bought a ranch out west where they intended to raise cattle. Friends came to visit and asked if the ranch had a name. “Well,” said the would-be-cattleman, “I wanted to call it the Bar-J, my wife favored the Suzy-Q, one son liked the Flying-W, and the other son wanted the Lazy-Y. So, we’re calling it the “Bar-J-Suzy-Q-Flying-W-Lazy-Y.”

“But, where are all your cattle?”

“So far, none have survived the branding.”

What is the lesson of this story? When it comes to our ministries, it is important to define the particular assignment that God has really given us. A pastor who is uncertain of what God has called him to be will often try to be so many things that he ends up becoming the proverbial “jack of all trades, master of none.”

The same is true of many churches—the problem is not that they are doing too little, but that they are trying to do too many different things. They are going so many different directions that they fail to do anything really well. Make sure you know what God wants your church to be, and develop your congregation accordingly. Be who you are supposed to be, and make no apologies for it! Find out what God wants your church to do and do it well. Don’t let you or your church be like the cattle in the story-trying to fulfill so many different “identities” that you don’t survive the branding.