January 17, 2006

Business as Usual

I used to chaff under the thought that the church was a business. I still don't like equating a church, on a 0ne-to-one basis, with a business. The Church is not a business, but the church (lowercase "c") has business aspects. Also, God did not provide a guide to managing a church in the Bible. We find principles of leadership, but not a textbook. I also find that God likes it when we use the brain he has given us, and the business world has given us some pretty good thoughts on organizational structure and leadership.

I just finished Patrick Lencioni's book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. This book has a lot to say to anyone working with ministry teams or church boards.

One item I took away was the idea of focusing on goals are that are measurable and workable. Many churches focus on their Sunday morning attendance as measurable goal. The problem is that Sunday morning attendance is to the church what profit is to the business world--it is the result of many other goals and process. But even attendance is not the ultimate goal. So there must be some other goal that will support this goal and maintain the mission of the church.

I don't think it is ever attendance. I also don't think things like Christlikeness, "impact," or any other such goal is even measurable. This morning I was thinking that one good goal might be the number of people serving. Not just leaders, but serving others. I think this would require something of everyone. Worship leaders, evangelism directors, small group leaders, leadership development, and the Pastor.

The more people who serve, the more people begin attending. More leaders are needed to help lead the servants. More training is needed, more depth is needed, more people are needed, and more jobs or ministry opportunities are needed. It seems to be a goal that is connected in some way to all the other goals. There might be another goal that is manageable, interconnected, and measurable.

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