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The Danger of “If Just One Person…”

We’ve all been in a church business meeting when someone has said it. It’s the goto line to justify ministry expenditures, and according to Scott Cochrane, it is a dangerous lie. The line? “If just one person…” You may have heard it used like this:

If just one person takes a big step towards God…

If just one person starts reading the Bible regularly…

If just one person invites someone far from God into their home…

Scott pushes back saying that if just one person is doing this… it’s probably a waste of resources.

In this edition of Ministry Briefing we discuss Scott’s thoughts, and whether there is a better way to use those funds.

How do YOU approach “just one” thinking?



5 Responses to “ “The Danger of “If Just One Person…””

  1. Every time I’ve ever heard the “even if just one person” argument posed, I think it’s always been an excuse for a crappy event.

  2. I never stopped to think about the “Just one person” line. But you are all very right. It’s almost like the saying, “At least…” But why plan events or initiatives that aim for lesser outcomes? Very thought provoking stuff..

  3. Thanks Pietrosquared & Framed Prayers and Blessings for weighing in. It’s a good reminder that, even in the church, results matter!

  4. Don Greb says:

    I have heard it but in relationship to volunteering time. When we did a big building renovation for a children’s facility, a contractor showed up, gave his time, talent and tools to help make it happen. He said if even one child gets saved, it was worth his personal investment.

  5. Don, in that context I see the merit in “If just one person…:” reasoning. My concern has tended to focus on good stewardship of church resources. To hear an expensive program defended by saying “If just one person…” is not always the best way to steward limited financial resources.

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