Angel In My Pocket (Part 7)

In this episode, Griffith faces the wrath of the board after his two congregants see him get the organ from the burlesque and playing for the performer.

Do you ask permission or ask forgiveness?

Griffith's intentions were noble and well conceived to get the church a new organ, and rather than ask permission (which is indeed the mode of getting things done around his church) he goes ahead an secures the organ, intending to tell them later.

It's a tricky situation. Some churches are permission givers and some are permission seekers. I've served both kinds. The ones where permission is given usually function better with an understanding between the "powers that be" and the ones who need to execute some decisions as to what is permissible. There is just no way a committee can make every decision that needs to be made for church to function daily. We were talking today about limits that we had encountered in ministry. I functioned for years under the $25 dollar rule (anything above $25 had to be approved by the finance team 1 month in advance). It was extremely hard to do ministry there.

There are also those churches that want to know everything and make a decision on everything. I had a pastor once who had that philosophy ("Let the church be the church" was his saying which sounds good but that also meant that dumb decisions were their fault too-like ignoring the shifting population trends and refusing to move to where the church could be a more visible force in the community). This was a hard situation too.

Sometimes it's best to ask forgiveness for a decision--but you only get one or two of these and then you're done. I think we're beginning to see the beginning of the end for Griffith's ministry in this small Kansas town and it's a shame. It didn't have to be this way.