Friday, August 3, 2012

This Will Scare You

I have a few friends that are in high places in the corporate world...really I do. The thing that amazes me is that it really can be a brutal today...gone tomorrow. I am glad to know that there are people like my friends in those places because of their moral and ethical beliefs and life styles but I have seen from the outside the coldness of that world.  And I am amazed that the Church and its’ leaders would look to that world for help in leading...but we do.  I know it is not all bad and there are things we can learn from anybody...but still...I wonder.  I probably wonder because I was never a part of that world or wanted to go into fact is was always much further down the food chain.  At the bottom I suppose you would say...and I was good with that. Really. 
In my head I have this funny image of Jesus sitting with His disciples right before He ascended into heaven...He looks at them right in the eyes...stares at them...and calmly says to them...”Before I leave tomorrow I need to have your five year plans for growing the church turned in so I can evaluate them.” Peter probably would have screamed at that and asked for it to be scaled back to a two year plan...based on how he had run his fishing business. Maybe Jesus would have relented and said, “OK, two year plan turned in by later today.” Some of you might not know what I am talking about but if you are going to plant a church one of the things you will be asked for is a two year plan...used to be a five year plan.  You know why they only ask for two years now? God always blew up the five year plan within the first two years!  Anybody you ask will tell you their five year plan was in shambles in a short time.  Now being a simple, bottom of the food chain kind of guy I only have one reason for that in my mind...there may be more...but in my simple way of thinking it is this.  Even God does not like two year plans!  You think? Maybe He would have liked to see the marketing plan to build this do you market the Son of God?  Well the resurrection was cool...and all those healings and with it John...really?
But we continue to borrow from the business world their way of doing to run a tight ship...get all the right people on the bus and the wrong people off.  I do understand the need for organization and for doing things well but I struggle with the idea that maybe the person I have doing this role might not be able to get us to the next level so I have to can them to get the better person in place. They are a C level person and to get to A you have to get the right person in! Well...OK...maybe...but what if I am the C level person?  Can I grow to a B?  Or am I hopelessly forever a C and I need to be replaced? Scary if I am the one in that wrong seat on the bus...really scary.  What happened to us being a body?  With Gifts from the Spirit?  What happened to Jesus being the Head of the Church?  How did we go from being an organism, filled with the life of Jesus, to an organization filled with flow charts and graphs? What happened? 
I have seen, in the church, good men and women kicked to the curb because the leader thought they just were not good enough to get them to the next level, whatever that means.  Been on the job for five or ten years and they walk in and BOOM! your are done...gone...with best wishes and I hope you will stick around the church and continue to tithe. Really, I am  not making this up...a business plan for the church...a business mind set to run the church...a CEO at the top.  Excuse me if I seem to be out of it here...if what I think is so looney it seems weird to you...but I do think I hear a voice calling from a distance...a still, quiet voice...small and yet strong...can you hear it?  I think I can...scary voice...scary request...I think I hear Jesus and this is what I hear Him don’t have to believe me....listen for yourself...but listen.  I think He is saying, “Can I please have me Church back?”  
PS...Part of the reason for my writing this is my recent experience with a person on staff with me. They have been with us for over ten years and in that time I could have and maybe should have let them go.  Personal conflict and stuff...hard stuff.  Not coming from a business mindset I just could not do I wanted to on many occasions. But could not.  Now some of it was my own stuff for sure...baggage...healing needed. Well in the past couple of years God has done amazing things in me, first of all.  Some much needed healing and growth.  Then He has done amazing things in the person on staff...amazing things...healing and growth. Awesome stuff!  I,we, would have missed this if the corporate mindset had been our mindset. It was difficult before and maybe I should have been the Boss and made the cut...but I would have missed seeing a miracle happen right before my eyes. Transformation me...and them.  I don’t know about you but I really like miracles.           


  1. I know a guy who has gone out to a western state to plant a church ... somewhere. He's studying census data and demographics to figure out exactly where the church should be located. Maybe I am missing something, but that strikes me as an approach that comes straight out of a corporate mindset. Makes me want to say: “Can I please have my Church back?”

  2. Just happened on your church website looking for a church & found your blog. Lots to be learned about a person/place from reading blog posts. I must say this post was most interesting to me having just left one of those corporate mentality churches. And really, I do believe Jesus is screaming, but few are listening to: "Can I have my church back?"

    I often wonder how much of the church actually belongs to Him? I have seen for far too long that many Pastors are operating from the corporate mentality & it's all about that next level. And I had to ask myself with all of the preaching on this next level stuff, did Jesus ever preach that or Paul or Timothy?? And how the heck would we know when we got to that next level??? Would it be when as you said Bill that we had the goods to get the position to move the church along in corporate fashion for the next biggest event, speaker, conference etc. or to find the newest way to increase tithes & offerings through miracle faith seeds that would produce wealth & power in God's kingdom?????? It doesn't exactly sound very biblical to me & quite frankly, it leaves a lot of us coming up short, or exhausted & discouraged from the need to get the corporate pastor's attention, much like in the corporate world when one wants to ascend the ranks. Is that really what we want the message to be in churches today?? For me personally, I found myself wanting & lacking because I felt as though I never measured up to the standard set. It felt like a very corporate competitive atmosphere & I just couldn't do "it" anymore. Not only that, but somewhere the true message of Jesus got lost, & a corporate kingdom message took over.

    The other point you made that struck me was what about endurance & logsuffering with a person who may issues??? If leaders just keep kicking them to the curb so they don't have to deal with them as they grow in their walk, then when will we see the miracle working, healing power of Jesus? Does that style of corporate leadership mentality produce the fruits that God desires to GROW in each of our lives??? I think not. Growth is often slow & sometimes painful, & I guess if you have a 2 year plan to follow, there may not be room for dealing with "messes" along the way.

    So, Bill, though I don't know you as a person or pastor, I do like your thinking on the matter of real leaders in the church - leaders who pattern themselves after the teachings of Jesus, not corporate America. Leaders who show humility, not those who seek "anointed" power positions & titles, or who seek to dominate their congregation with sermons that manipulate & control the minds & hearts of people so they serve & do the pastor's bidding out of fear or worse yet, a prideful mentality patterned after their corporate leader. No, not hardly Jesus's idea of godly leadership.

    I will keep tuning in to your blog now that I know it is here & perhaps, I will one day, visit live & in person at your church. I think right now I need time & healing as I process through this whole leadership dilemma the church as a whole finds itself in today because, quite frankly, I get enough of the corporate world outside of the church walls, why would I continue to subject myself to it w/in the church walls????