Have you ever heard the expression, “That is not a hill worth dying on!” People use this phrase when talking about what is, or is not, truly important. I heard it many times in my 15-year career in the local church ministry.
There are other things that determine what hills we seem to be positioned to die on. Our behaviors often speak louder than our words. What is worth spending countless hours discussing, debating, arguing over, rehashing, and then bringing it up again after you thought it was settled?
I either sat through meetings or heard of meetings in my local church ministry career that made me scratch my head. Things that made me wonder what the real priorities were? Things that made me wonder, are we really willing to die on that hill?
Let me give you a short list:
- Color of carpet for the new building
- Color of carpet for the remodel
- Was the flood global or only local?
- Was creation really 7 literal days?
- Dress code for anyone on the stage
- Separate dress code for the preacher (No sneakers allowed. That might have been a hill worth dying on!)
- End times discussions
- Contemporary, Traditional, or Blended services (Did I mention the end times?)
- Placement of communion and offering in service
- Are the drums too loud?
I could go on, and on, and on. Any of the above topics have generated thousands of hours of fruitless discussions, arguments, and church divisions. The topics above have ended up becoming hills that Christians have been willing to die on.
Notice that nothing on the above list has anything to do with reaching people who are far from Christ. In fact, most of things that churches battle over are internal conversations. They are things that largely only have an affect on those who are already present inside the walls of the church. I would venture to say that if most people who are outside the church knew how many hours were wasted arguing they would choose to remain as far away from the church as possible.
If we are going to get passionate and start putting stakes in the ground, we better be careful. We better decide what hill truly is worth dying on. I can guarantee you one thing. Carpet color will never make it on my list! What would make it on my list? Finding ways to reach those that are far from Christ. Sometimes those ways will be unconventional. Sometimes those ways will involve spending more time outside the church than in. Sometimes it will be uncomfortable. Sometimes good Christian people will think you are crazy. Deep breath… That is okay.
When thinking about reaching people for Christ it is hard for me not to think about people that are affected by disability. There are over 1 billion people in the world that have at least one disability in their life that they are dealing with. For people affected by disability there are so may obstacles to even making to church let alone being accepted once you get there. People that live with disabilities want to attend church at the same rate as everyone else but often cannot because of barriers that exist.
If there is a hill worth dying on for me it will be tearing down some of those barriers. It will be helping churches figure out how to reach out to their disability communities. It will be empowering churches with the tools they need to introduce people affected by disability to Jesus.
What hill will you willingly die on? If you don’t have one ask yourself what are you living for?