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ONEBLINDGUY dot COM. Touch Church. In Your Pocket
A jaded view of the church? I don't think so. Let me explain. Many pastors and lay leaders work hard. But, working the same way for the same reasons, when the cultural landscape has changed, can provide results that don't represent the sweat involved. Working harder is not enough. You have to work smarter. You have to understand your demographics. You must reach-out and offer points of inspiring/relational invitation. Because their is a mismatch, change is necessary. And, conflict is sure to result in the congregation. However, the problem is not conflict. rather, it is avoidance. Many congregations insist on keeping the peace at any cost instead of faceing reality. They are the faith institutions that just kick the can down the road. If any institution wishes to engage in a growth-curve that requires asking the correct questions, and, perhaps, more importantly listening with a open-ear. Then act accordingly. Most congregations don't even get this far in the change process. And, get out of the territory that claims the church as a marry/bury social institution. If the church remains in that mold, it is doomed to failure. With over thirty years of faithful church attendence, serving as a youth advisor and Sunday school teacher, serving and chairing boards and committees, plus a background in business/marketing; here is my critically learned experience. In the mix of congregations located in the United States, there are a precious few that are truely transformative agents for change. Many are clergy and lay-empowering opportunity killers. They often are social-clubs, limp along, content with their predicament. They are controlled by bullies, single families, holding to the past, consistently unfriendly to outsiders and resistant to change. Their lay leadership are passive. No bold new initiatives. no blazing of new paths or roads less taken. And, they still ask the same question over-and-over. Without listening to the answer. How do we keep from dying? But, their hesitation answers this often repeated question. The reality is that, already, and, for the record, they are dead!