Perhaps you’ve noticed, but a few people are beginning to campaign for the presidential election in 2016. Ultimately, the field will narrow to two (maybe three). I’m not a political junkie, but I try to pay attention to someone who might end up leading my country.
Just as every pastor should be concerned about church health, every true believer should be interested as well in how to be a “healthy church member.” As we focused on the local church in the last blog, I thought I would address the topic as well from a local church perspective.
A few months ago, I was having a dialogue with Rich Birch of Liquid Church (and unSeminary) about one of his blogs: Is “Multisite Church” the Last Good Idea?
Rich asked me to add some commentary to his post, as we have shared in collaborating on other subject matter related to multisite church, including Birch’s contribution to Church Locality. The premise of the blog was whether or not multisite was the last good idea for church growth and multiplication, which spawned a lot of good conversations.
My comment to the blog supported multisite as a great tool for church multiplication, but I had a slightly different take. Here was my response.
Many cultural changes affect generation gaps. For instance, my father’s choice of 1960’s rock is quite different than my preference of 1990’s rock. And we all know music style can be a contentious issue in the Church.
Technology, however, is often cited as the main wedge between generations in the U.S. culture.
Pastor Rick Warren, author of the best-selling Purpose Driven Life, is often quoted as saying, “Healthy things grow.” As the pastor of one of the largest and most influential megachurches at the time, many pastors used Pastor Warren’s quote to push for numerical growth.
I’ve consulted with dozens of churches formally, and perhaps hundreds informally. However, many churches never evaluate their ministry with any rigor.
The reason, these churches say, is because they don’t see the need for the effort, expense and potentially difficult season (emotionally) inaugurated by bringing in someone from the outside or going through an evaluation process. In my experience, those who refuse to evaluate themselves are either trying to avoid seeing empirically what they already know to be true through experience (painful), or are deferring pain in hopes it can be avoided by grasping for quick-fix solutions in the present (“We got this”).
Such mindsets betray feelings of, We could fix this if we really wanted to or really thought there was a problem. The words of the late Dr. Charles Siburt come to mind here: “Then why haven’t you?”
Most people don’t like change. Most leaders want to challenge the status quo. Leadership is, in part, the process of helping people see the need for change, embrace the vision for change, and then implement the change.
What do we need to do at our churches to avoid this chasm in developing a great guest experience?
Some churches stay in a perpetual cycle of growing and declining. The church peaks, then dips, only to peak again. It’s possible for a church to stay in this cycle for decades.
One of the most important aspects of leadership in any organization is the ability to delegate authority to others. Delegation is especially key for leadership development, as well as maintaining a healthy work / life balance. At some point in a growing organization, it is literally impossible for one decision-maker to make all the decisions — and the sooner others are able to learn how to make decisions and handle authority, the faster they develop the leadership skills necessary for both the individual and the organization to succeed.