Malcolm Gladwell

Lessons about church from 'pasgetti' sauce

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*I know I spelled the word spaghetti wrong in the title. And I do it again further along in this blog post (This is so all you Grammar Nazis can continue reading).

I am not completely sure where I'm going with this, but here it is anyways—maybe this is written so you can add your two cents worth.

In Malcolm Gladwell's 2044 TED Talk on "Choice, happiness, and spaghetti sauce," he talks about the power of choice and the importance of understanding universals and variables when making choices. He talks about the cooking/food industry search for cooking universals—one way to treat all of our food desires and taste for food. What they discovered was there wasn't really any universal food desires or tastes.

As I watched Gladwell's TED Talk, I kept thinking about what my buddy Mike Packer has told me,

"It takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people."

In a way Gladwell's TED Talk sort of spoke to this point. The researcher in his story proved while it seems on the outside everyone wants or desires the same thing, in reality many don't. So food manufactures, in their effort to be on top of the food industry, needed to broaden their choices they offer to consumers.


Now I know watch your thinking! Is Joe advocating for consumeristic churches—ones that offer everything under the sun or what i like to call Buffet Churches. The answer to this is NO, NO no and no (See I stopped my yelling)... I think a consumeristic bent on Christianity has been the devil's tool to weaken the church. Enough on that, I've blogged about this several times.

I've been there and done that. I am sure it works for some people, but I've been hard-pressed to see costly discipleship. From my experience, people who have latched onto what Bonhoeffer calls "Costly Grace" and are living out a costly discipleship, don't take advantage of the Buffet menu.

I am simple making an observation. Much like what my buddy Mike has shared with me, there is a need for churches of different flavors, worship styles, of different sizes, and etc... It takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people.

Much like pasgetti sauce... There is not one right way to be the church.

News flash for you! Not everyone in your city will go to your church. And not everyone will like the way your church does church. So let's stop telling each other how each of our churches should be functioning. Allow the Holy Spirit to shape you, your people, and your church.

God has big plans for you and your church. Stop trying to be like everyone else. Quit being a schizophrenic church.

No more competition. No more Jealousy. Just BE the church the Holy Spirit has called you, shaped you, and allowed you to be.

Do me a favor and read the words of the image to below to yourself three times out loud.


Image found via loswhit


Yeah. Jealousy is a lie.


Let the conversation begin...