On putting the horse before the cart

You mustn’t put the cart before the horse, we often say to one another. Horses come first.

The problem is carts are easy to fix or change. But it takes years to train a horse – and even longer to re-train a horse.

The same is true in church life. Church structures and meetings matter. But what really drives a church is its people, and especially it leaders. And so we mustn’t put the cart before the horse. In other words, we mustn’t prioritise structures over people.

The problem is that, like carts, structures, programme and meetings are easy to change. They are within are control. Discipling a person take times. But this is what produces results in the long run.

Nor can we train a horse as we might fix a cart. (Perhaps this metaphor has run it’s course.)

You don’t disciple people through courses and programmes. You educate people through courses. And education is good. But education is not the same as discipleship. Discipleship is both formal and informal.


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