Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Soup for Dinner

I have a friend (Ben Pierce) who is known for making ministry observations that reveal his Mississippi origins.  My favorite is related to programming.  Sometimes in the midst of a meeting Ben would sit back and say something along the lines of:

Sometimes we need to prepare a 5-course meal, sometimes we need to make a casserole and sometimes we just need to open a can of soup.

In case you don’t speak Mississippi – Ben was trying to remind us that some programming requires lots of effort and sometimes we need to keep things very simple and uncomplicated.  And he’s right.

But there’s a temptation I’ve discovered.  On those occasions that we determine that a can of soup is appropriate; sometimes we relax and serve lousy soup.  And sometimes we give the impression that we don’t even want to have to go to the trouble of opening the can.

Even when programming calls for us to simplify – and not every program requires a 5-course dinner or a casserole – we are still called to excellence.  We still want to serve the very best soup we can and present it as well as we can.

So here are three commitments I am making:

I won’t attempt to prepare a 5-course meal for every ministry activity.  I will evaluate resources and strategy to determine when it’s okay to serve a casserole or open a can of soup.

When it’s not necessary or maybe even appropriate to serve a 5-course meal I will still strive to serve l the best soup I am able to prepare.

When it’s “soup for dinner” I will serve the soup proudly, joyfully and unapologetically – recognizing that “soup” is often an important part of our overall strategy.

And now I am thinking of nothing but “I wonder if there is soup in our pantry and what’s for dinner….”

PS – just because I wonder if anyone reads this blog – comment below with your answer to Bowling for Soup’s opinion of Mexican food north of Texas.


  1. I do occasionally read your blog but I have no idea what Bowling for Soup's opinion of Mexican food north of Texas is, although I have to say that there are many places in Northern California (not the Bay Area, that is a different story) that do it very well but far more places that really do not know what "real" Mexican food is. Next time you speak to Ben, please tell him "hi".

  2. A friend shared with me that this comment field doesn't seem to work - so sorry if that's the case for anyone - it seemed to work for Liz and when I click "publish" I will see if it works for me....

  3. worked - and PS the Bowling for Soup line is from the song Ohio

  4. I read your blog... and the best Mexican food EAST of Texas may very well be Cocina Superior. Just sayin'.

  5. Glad to know even your most modest ministries will not be like Holly's first time "making" canned soup. She dumped the can-shaped cylinder of concentrate in the pot and had no idea what to do next.