Help For Those On The Front Lines Of Ministry.

Past Updates

Jun 11, 2012
Change: Part Two

Last week I wrote;
"Change happens. Sometimes for good- to effect change in the lives of others/self/the world. Sometimes not so good- when those with little ability want to retire benefitting from someone else's work and passion. Sometimes to one's highest level of ineffectiveness- a place where the ineffective are kept from hurting others."

Today I deal with the latter two changes. Sorry for those so inflicted.

Change: Part Two.

One other place where moves aren’t so good is when older irrelevant, usually supervisory clergy are rotating back for one last “hurrah”. That means the new congregation will have to put up with this irrelevant bureaucrat who will spout organizational non-sense for four years, coupled with old, outdated stories of their “glorious” past. What other company or organization would inflict this kind of pain on their loyal customers? Could you imagine McDonalds bringing back unhealthy food, limiting their options, and raising their prices? How long would they survive?

Congregations that need new life, new vision are, instead, given dying ideas by dying people. By this time (Spring 2012) most of the healthy people have left these congregations. The largest movement in the Western Church in America today are the millions who have left the church to preserve their sanity and their faith.

That’s right, these main line denominations aren’t thriving, are just barely surviving and will, in my lifetime dissolve into small powerless collections of irrelevancy, if that hasn’t already happened.

The final atrocity committed in these changes is the double edge sword of what to do with the irrelevant. We have moved them from pastoring over congregations and placed them where they can spend most of their time dealing with dysfunctional clergy as supervisory elders. But after a few years in these positions, where their effectiveness is even lower than in the local congregation, we have to move them on. But where? Logically, it is to move them to the center of the irrelevancy, the place “where those who can” can’t be found. Those who can-do; Those who can’t-become supervisors; Those who can’t supervise-are made management. In church systems: Do=part of the 5 fold ministry (APEST-See Hirsch). Those who can’t empower believers are promoted to oversight of the process—supervisors—where they can’t hurt too many and they stay busy putting out fires. Those who can’t supervise, who tend to be power crazy control freaks- thus they are made staff. It suits them. They get to go to work daily. They create studies. They promote growth (of their ego) and they stay out of the life of thriving congregations who both don’t need them or want them messing up what they have going for them, (which is usually new ideas, new visions, empowerment and passion for the gospel).