Reevaluating Church Structure

We wonder how we can be used to help turnaround the decline of the church in America. And then the discussion seems to focus on how to more effectively do all the things we are currently doing. Maybe the problem isn't our effectiveness. Maybe it is what we are doing.

Instead of spending tens of hours on having more effective sermons, maybe we need to evaluate what would be the most effective method to educate our flock and bring them together under a common vision. Instead of automatically spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on buildings, maybe we need to evaluate what would honestly be the most effective use of God's resources (sometimes it could be a building). Instead of trying to figure a better way to educate on Sunday Morning and Wednesday nights, maybe we need to start worrying about developing community rather than just educating. This is just a little list, but instead of contemplating how to make things better, we should evaluate whether we could be doing something else that would be much more effective. It's not where we going that is broken: Sometimes the bike we're on that has lost its chain and blown it's tires.

For the last fifty years, the leaders in churches across this nation have been doing their best. They've been praying and loving their congregations. I think the path blazed before us has been done by godly people with good intentions. The problem isn't the leaders; it's the system. True, supermen like Joel Osteen, Bill Hybels, Robert Schuller, Charles Stanley, Bob Russell, etc., thrive in this system; however, we need a church that can thrive without the supermen, a church that can flourish in inner-city Lansing, in rural Antwerp, not just in suburbia where the supermen like to plant their churches.

It seems arrogant to think we can turn around the sinking ship by doing the same things that the people have done before us. We think we can do it better and produce the intended results that they couldn't. What we need to do is reevaluate all that they were doing rather than just trying to do what they did, albeit more effectively.

Insanity is trying the same thing and expecting different results. Seeing the numbers of the church in decline and seeing the methods the church is using to reverse that trend leads me to the conclusion that most churches have gone insane. We try the same things only we try to dress them up in different clothes. I think it is time to change our clothes.

Watch out for the potholes.