Majors or minors

Rich Dixon invites us to think about how we prioritize.


Twenty years ago, Becky and I were newly married and looking for a church.

In the place that eventually became home, we glanced at each other in mild surprise when an animated man with a British accent began his sermon with a crazy story about botching a simple home improvement project. He explained with serious silliness how a damaged pipe might have escalated into anger and a damaged relationship. The details of Jeff’s exploits are forgotten, but I clearly recall the title of his message.


As a storyteller, Jeff somehow managed to pivot from his blundering tale and began to make a case for the need to discern those issues that matter most to God. Love your neighbor. Feed the poor. Seek justice.

He spoke powerfully of how the church gets off track when we become obsessed with issues like worship style. He offered to sing, which everyone loudly agreed would be a really bad idea. He laughed and talked about churches that fight and even split over who gets to sing or what color carpet to install.

Suddenly the joking stopped, and this energetic little man slammed the lectern and declared, “We must never be like this. We must major in the majors and minor in the minors!

Twenty years later, those words ring in my ears.

It’s a prescription, a guideline for community as a place of healing and inclusion for messy, broken people like me and you.

Minor in the minors means we can care (a lot) about worship music and carpet color but resolve never to be divided by them.

Major in the majors means we focus on and come together around the issues Jesus talked about and died for.

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“Yeah, but what are the majors? And who decides?”

Next time.

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  1. Pingback: Who created the list? – 300 words a day

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