If You Could Ask One Question…

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When I told my friends on Twitter that I’d be spending the next couple of days with the lead pastors from six of Canada’s most influential churches, I mentioned that if anyone was interested I’d take their leadership questions into the meeting and report back.

Boy, was there interest!

This morning, as the breakfast dishes were being cleared away, I announced that I was going to take the next few minutes of our discussion away from our established agenda, and would ask them to respond to the questions submitted by my Twitter friends. These leaders rose to the challenge, and a sampling of their responses is presented for you here.

One side-note: One of the key values of this gathering is that of “safety”. Although you could probably figure out who these guys are, simply know that these leaders have an average of 25 years lead pastor experience, and that their congregations are among the largest and most influential in Canada.

Here, then, are a few highlighted questions and responses…

Question: “What is the most important thing that is affecting the faith of the emerging gen in Canada?”


  • Connectedness: the drive to be meaningfully connected in community is a profound motivator in the emerging generation
  • Authenticity: The emerging generation constantly asks, “is it real?”
  • Sinful lifestyles: On the “negative” side, this generation is sometimes shockingly tolerant of sin. Some of this is a pattern learned from their church-going parents!

Question: Can (should) churches ever get to 50% of resources focused internally and 50% externally? How?


  • The numbers game is not the way to go. An experienced leader would not reduce this down to a percentage formula.
  • The whole deal is God’s. It’s about stewardship.
  • The question reveals a poor ecclesiology, common today. The view that you can even divide a church’s mission as “internal” and “external” is not what the biblical church is all about. We are the mission

Question: “What is 1 thing you need to keep you in ministry for the long haul that you’re not getting right now?”


  • Living the life I teach about. If there’s a disconnect between what I teach and what I do, I won’t make it.
  • I need to constantly be asking, “What is my support system to fulfill my calling?”

Thanks to those who submitted questions. The next time I gather with a group of leaders like this I’ll let you know, and we can do this again!

the author

Scott Cochrane


  1. This is a cool idea Scott.

    I’m disappointed in the answers for number 2. I know that I’m young, arrogant, and opinionated so I want to be careful, but I would simply this: I think the first two answers to your question are cop-outs, and they dodged the heart of the question by hiding behind semantics.

    Unless of course I’m misunderstanding where they are coming from, I think the precentage conversation is completely legitimate, and if as leaders we are unwilling to have that conversation then our stewardship sucks. No matter what language we want to use to have the conversation when you’re talking money, percentages will always exist, its the nature of mathematics. I hope and pray that those of us who wear the mantle of church leadership can enter that conversation openly and willingly, and maybe even get to the place where “loving our neighbour as we love ourselves” even applies to our money.

    Thanks for positing this Scott, I hope it stirs conversation.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Paul.

    Brian, appreciate your insights. I shouldn’t ‘defend’ these guys, but I should clarify that what I asked for, and received, was ‘top of mind’ stuff. I didn’t give them time to take a deep dive into these questions.

    But your comments tell me that next time I should give them more time to consider their response…perhaps send them the questions in advance.

    Thanks again

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