Good vs Better or Best

One of the recent things that has popped up in my thoughts is good, better, best. As my major context is church life, you can be sure that, of course, that’s what’s going on with me.

“Don’t present online if you’re not high quality” (read that as commercial broadcast worthy). Except new attenders are watching our “poor” quality online first…and they still come.

That really, though, isn’t the issue for many.

The Church of the Nazarene has recently completed its General Assembly, an international gathering of denominational representatives. As with any such gathering, there are proposals to change our theology, our ecclesiology, our operationality (i.e., the way we do “business” in concert with the secular world).

This is the first gathering post-COVID lockdowns. One of the conversations, of course, was how the church ought to double-down on physical gatherings. In fact, one of the proposals (though it seems it failed) would be to change our language to purposefully sideline any digital gatherings as unworthy of being “church”.

I’m not done with that particular discussion, but that isn’t the point of this short post. The focus is on the Good.

The Good

The Good? It’s Jesus. Not church, not my denomination, definitely not me. It’s Jesus. Do I worry about bad theology and practice leading away from Jesus? Yes. I’m not confident enough in myself to not look at me first, so I constantly worry that I’m misleading folks (and I’m called to a higher standard, which never helps).

No matter what the mode or modal or discussion or theology, if the focus is not on helping, guiding, walking toward Jesus as Lord and Savior, then it’s probably not good. By good, I do mean more on the absolute Goodness of God type of good.

Better and Best

The issue for me recently, is just that better and best are a personal evaluation, generally. They aren’t all that empirical. When you watch one of those chef shows (if you do), ultimately, the chef (or chef panel) decides who is better or best. Is it based on experience? Yes. Is based on empirical evidence? Sometimes. Even when it is, though, personal ideation of better and best win out.

Is it best that people have a weekly physical gathering? For many, it’s an emphatic, yes! For many others, it’s no (sometimes emphatic, too).

So, which is better, IPL (in physical life) or DLE (digital life expression)? Is that really the best question? Should the question be, what is the best way to get people to know, love, and develop a relationship with Jesus? The best way is the way that works to achieve that goal.

For many people it is better and best IPL. The problem then may become forgetting what is Good.

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