These are perhaps the two most important words in church leadership.
Okay, that’s an overstatement. But they are really important.
I first discovered the value of these words from Tom Shrader, founding pastor of Redemption Church Gilbert. He wisely said that you should add these words to the end of almost every sentence.
- This is the musical style we’re using as a church…for now.
- We’re creating a ministry that ministers to women…for now.
- We think Sunday school curriculum should be tied to the sermon…for now.
- Let’s get all the leaders together every quarter…for now.
I’ve come to call this The Brett Favre Principle, an increasingly outdated name that commemorates Favre’s process of retiring, unretiring, retiring again (maybe), unretiring, etc.
While we like to mock Favre for such indecisiveness, saying “for now” is actually quite admirable. Too many young leaders (especially church planters) make definitive, idealistic statements that end up pigeon-holing them later.
They say things like, “We’ll never have age-graded ministries — we want to keep the whole church together.” Then they actually have children and decide that age-graded ministries aren’t too bad.
Saying “for now” doesn’t make you wishy-washy. It simply acknowledges that while this may be the best way for you to do something right now, that may change in the future. More likely, it will change in the future. Saying “for now” allows you the flexibility to change your approach when it’s needed.
The major exception to the “for now” rule would be in major, closed-handed areas of doctrine. We don’t use “for now” when articulating our belief in the sufficiency of Scripture, the Trinity, the deity of Jesus, salvation by grace through faith, or a number of other key doctrines. These should never change.
But when it comes to philosophy of ministry or launching something new, use the words “for now.”