Monday, August 1, 2016
Why Do Churches Resist Innovation and Growth?
Think for a minute about men and women that attempted to bring innovations to the churches they loved. Historically, many were persecuted and killed, especially in Europe. Our hearts go these martyrs. In modern societies, innovators are not usually martyred but they are usually resisted strongly.
What happens to these people after they leave a stifling system and st up a new dynamic place they choose? Too often, after they break away from a bureaucratic organization in order to set up a more functional and biblical system, they became as rigid as their old system.
I am amazed at how quickly an organic church dedicated to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to set people free can regress into a legalistic, bureaucratic system dedicated to survival rather than salvation.
The Jesus Movement that railed against the formal systems in the Seventies tended to develop into fiefdoms of dogmatic men that demanded control. Too often the least mature, most gressive, fervent members take over because they step up to volunteer and less aggressive leaders say nothing. Some even claim to have special gifts and knowledge.
Too often the culprit is FEAR. Fear that someone will make a mistake. Fear that I will lose control. Fear that God will be displeased if I don't control things. One of the biggest issues faced by leaders that want to grow is one that stops many churches from growing.
How can we bring new, often younger people into the system and still minister to the veterans who built the church originally?
There are ways to innovate and grow without greatly threatening the veterans that built it, but leaders must bring in the new while keeping the old happy. Not easy!
I will write more on that later.