Performance v. Grace

Here is a diagnostic test from Tim Chester to use in order to determine if your community is based on performance or grace:

Is your community a community of performance or a community of grace? Try these diagnostic tests …

Communities of Performance                          Communities of Grace
the leaders appear sorted                                the leaders are vulnerable

the community appears respectable              the community is messy

meetings must be a polished performance   meetings are just one part of                                                                                         community life

identity is found in ministry                              identity is found in Christ

failure is devastating                                         failure is disappointing, but not                                                                                     devastating

actions are driven by duty                               actions are driven by joy

conflict is suppressed or ignored                  conflict is addressed in the open

the focus is on orthodoxy and behaviour     the focus is on the affections of                                                                                     the heart                                        (allowing people to think they’re sorted)     (with a strong view of sin and                                                                                        grace)

In performance-oriented churches people pretend to be okay because their standing within the church depends on it. A ‘sorted’ person is seen as the standard or the norm, and anyone who is struggling is seen as sub-standard or sub-Christian. In this kind of environment to acknowledge that you’re struggling with sin is difficult and distressing.

Well, which is it for you? I have been a part of a Performance community for a long time. I tried within that structure to create a community of Grace and there was a culture clash.

What about you?

again, hat tip to Vitamin Z.


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