Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Can a Broken Church be Repaired?

Popular author and marketing guru Seth Godin introduced a website called www.thisisbroken.com a few years back. People sent into scores of examples of businesses who had processes and procedures that were broken. The marketing strategy may have been broken or the processes in which the business used were broken.

Seth Godin mentioned an example of a busy airport in the States. There were 75 Cabs in the airport waiting for customers. There were 75 people lined up to catch a Cab. It took over an hour for the line to clear and for everyone to have entered a Cab. Why? The system was broken, and no one had thought long and hard enough as to what to do about it. What if there was no single file line?

Check out the photos below. Can you see the problems here?

 "Observe Warning Signs" - Now, if you are not observing warning signs, how could you possibly observe this warning sign telling you to observe warning signs?

"No Smoking: Pick up your Cigarette Butts" - Has anyone thought this one through? If people are meant to be not smoking, then why are we picking up cigarette butts?

So let me ask you the question. What is broken in the church? No, I don't mean that old whiteboard  and the broken music stand in the storeroom. I mean, what practices, routines, procedures and the like, are broken within the church?

Let me offer some examples of broken things within the church:

- People who care about what seat they sit in more than whether anyone new will be sitting with them
- People who smile and enthusiastically welcome the regulars 'to church' and then barely smile at a new person.
- An offering message that goes longer than a sermon.
- Having to reach a certain limit in the offering before the guest preacher will preach.
- Emerging churches that continually emerge and evolve and never knuckle down what in fact they believe.  
- Not speaking to someone in the church because they have offended you.
- Altar Calls that are empty when you preach about holiness and righeousness.
- Churches that spend more time on administration than justice and evangelism.
- Financial processes and procedures that will outlive Billy Graham
- When the nuances of theology and the debate that these cause, consume more time than needed.
- Disciples who turn away from Christ, because of the actions of fellow believers.

The list could go on. Much is broken in our churches.

Can a Broken Church be Repaired?

Well, I believe yes. As has been mentioned in previous posts, it will either be deep painful change or slow painful death for churches that are broken.

Let me say, when a church is broken, do something! Change the culture! Challenge the pre-exsiting paradigms of church methodology! Keep Jesus at the Centre! Decisively work through the broken things in churches, so that you do not hinder the amazing work of the Spirit of God, to grow and bless your local congregation.

Much more could be said. Though, you must taken each example of brokenness in your local context and work through it. Why are people not very welcoming? Why are people not becoming disciples? Why do people come to events and nothing else? Why do 20% of the people do 80% of the work?

You must think these problems through. Consider the solutions. Do something about the things that are broken.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Though if it is broke, you are responsible TO fix it!

#leadership #change #broken #church

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