I spent a little bit of time yesterday getting copies made of DVD's of the End of Year Video that the Queen made for the Ninja's kindergarten class. When completed, I ran a couple through my computer. One of the randomly sampled ones didn't work. Not good.
I walk down the hall to a TV/DVD combo and start checking them one by one. 23 of 24 worked. The bad apple was thrown away.
I come home from the office and the Queen decides to check them in our DVD player, which is probably older than most children you know. 2 of the first 3 don't work for her. Across the street she treks to check them on a much newer DVD player at the neighbor's house. All were indeed okay.
And I tell that story to make a point about ministry models: sometimes they work across broad ranges, sometimes they work only in certain areas, and sometimes they don't work at all.
I remember when everyone wanted to be Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven Church was all the rage - back before Purpose Drive Life took off. There was the baseball diamond and the 101-201-301-401 system.
I remember when everyone wanted to be seeker-sensitive, and Bill Hybels and Willow Creek were the "it" guys of the day. It go revealed that the disciples they were producing didn't look very much like Jesus and they had to change some things.
And there was bus ministry. And there is now Gospel-centered everything.
For me, it's not that ministry models are bad. I've learned from all of the above-mentioned models. But like the DVD's, some of those only work in some areas or under some circumstances. To try to replicate a model just because it worked somewhere else is a bad idea. Learn from it? Sure! But replicate it, not so much.
Instead, I advocate this model: listen to the Holy Spirit and learn from His people and then implement what He shows to be best.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...