I Like My Steak Medium and My Church Well Done

[Note: Apologies to any vegetarian and vegan readers.]

“Medium” is my go-to for all meats:  salmon, burgers, pork, steak.  “Medium Church” – not so much.

I’m not sure what to say about a Rare Church today except that Well Done Church also seems to be Rare.

This is not to say that any Church perfectly executes their ministry.  The appearance of “Perfection” seems a little fake anyway.  I find that a Well-Done Church has the following distinctions:


  1.  Authenticity.  People genuinely care about each other more than they care about appearances.
  2. Curiosity.  People want to learn more – about God, about their neighbors, about themselves.
  3. But Curiosity is Not About “Getting Smarter.”  Often we seem to go to our Bible studies, our book discussion groups, our speaker series and then we go home smarter, but nothing changes.  A Well Done Church acts upon what they’ve learned together.
  4. It’s about God.  You can feel it.
  5. There is laughter.  It’s funny (not humiliating) when mistakes are made from the pulpit or in the parking lot.  No shaming and blaming.
  6. Things flow.  Although the Holy Spirit makes this happen, leaders also work together well to create worship that moves through the liturgy smoothly, lifting up special themes and foci.
  7. Hospitality is genuine and the circle is wide.  (This is sadly rare.)  We who think we are friendly are usually talking only to our friends.  The heavily pierced guy or the unfamiliar woman of a certain age sitting alone or the tall trans lady don’t experience hospitality in many congregations.

Although it’s easy to make a Medium Steak into a Well-Done Steak, it’s not easy to shift a Medium Church into a Well-Done Church because the issue is DNA rather than temperature.  Both take time.  But shifting a congregation’s DNA or culture takes an enormous amount of time and a particular devotion to make that shift.

It happens only by focussing on God and figuring out who God is calling us to be as The Church in our particular context.  It will involve people leaving.  It will involve hurt feelings.  But it will mostly involve a vision so clear that we cannot help but move toward it.

It’s monumentally easier to order a rare steak and be done with it.

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