A Death In The Family
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We Need To Change The Way We Do Church

I have spent my entire adult life in church work. When I wasn't on a church staff, I was working for a ministry related to church work, like Integrity Music. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in both ministry and churches, whether they were denominational or independent.

For the last five years, I have traveled extensively to churches all over the world to speak and consult. I have seen the inside of many churches and did my graduate work in pastoral ministries. I say all this to frame what I am about to say: I have come to conclusion that the Church is ill and we need to change the way we do church if she is ever to recover.  Most of the changes have to do with leadership.

I don't say this as an outsider. I am a church man, through and through. But we have a serious problem in the body of Christ and it isn't just in the United States. Our lack of leadership has reached crisis proportions. I could go on and on listing the problems, but I thought I would present my plan for the remedy so it could be discussed, critiqued and improved. So here are my seven suggestions as a way forward:

1. Raise up an army of purpose-led men and women who have faith to do the impossible, freed from trying to be who they are not and released to be the fullest, best expression of who God created them to be.

2. Equip people to perform missions (both domestic and foreign), to launch business ventures and to carry out any other activity their purpose distates and faith allows.

3. Help leaders be productive in their purpose as they oversee Holy Spirit chaos created by people pursuing and fulfilling their purpose.

4. Help leaders and governing bodies move from attitudes of ownership to attitudes of servant leadership and stewardship.

5. Develop services, Sunday Schools, kids church, youth meetings and even committee meetings that people want to attend because there is a spirit of excellence and the unexpected.

6. Move from fads, copycat programs, and trite and phony rituals, traditions and doctrines to innovative initiatives in the Spirit of (but exceeding the results of) the early church.

7. Address the needs of the poor, ethnic minorities and women around the world.

I think these seven steps would be a great starting point for any leader or leadership group to begin the change process. Do you agree? 

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George Lautner

This topic seems to be rising to to surface.
At P1 conference a few weeks ago Ron Peri held a similar view.
You may know the man, former IBM exec, quit work completed seminary, pastored a church, felt a limited impact,left the church, started new business using a Christain leadership model,and speaks to groups regarding maximizing the impact of God's word. I am reviewing your seven proposals, they are thought provoking

Grace and peace in Christ


I also am a church man. Although I am not currently doing church work, I have been involved in the local church, pastoring and in administration for a large part of my adult life. Secondly, I live in Africa and am originally from West Africa, although I now live and work in South Africa.

In the African model of church leadership, a lot of traditional patriachal values are interwoven into church life, with the effect that the pastor or leader rules virtually unchallenged and unchallengeable. All his egoistic oppressiveness is couched in the Biblical command to honour and submit to leaders. God's people in many cases are virtual slaves, supporting the exotic lifestyle of the 'man of God'. And so it goes on and on and on.
Your suggestions are great and I also think that they are the way to go. The challenge is the implementation of these suggestions. A leader who has total control over his congregation will not submit himself (or herself) to these principles because s/he has the most to lose. I think that it will take God moving supernaturally to dethrone and denounce some of these leaders to signal to the church world that it is no longer business as usual. Also, as pockets of true leaders in the mould that you describe arise and become well known, the abused and exploited 'sheep' will realize just how free they could be and hopefully would either demand accountability and openness or find clean pastures to 'graze' from.
There's a passage in Jeremiah that gives me hope that the time for all this will soon dawn upon us, perhaps is here already. I will quote this scripture to end my contribution:
Jeremiah 23: 1-4 (NIV)Source: http://www.gospelcom.net
1 "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!" declares the LORD. 2 Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: "Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done," declares the LORD. 3 "I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD.

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