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 their churches. Many were persecuted and killed, especially in Europe. Our hearts go these martyrs. In modern societies, innovators are not usually martyred but they can be strongly resisted.
What happens to people after they are told to leave a church system" Can they set up a new place of dramatic changes?
Often, after they break away from an organization to set up what they think is an exciting, more functional and biblical system, it becomes as rigid as their old system.
Do you remember how fast the Calvinists set up a rigid system after complaining about the Catholics? The Lutherans were no different nor were the Reformers in Scotland. the spirit of renewal developed into a spirit of revenge and narrow theology.
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 formal church 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 leaders even claim to have special gifts and knowledge. (I am still picking up the pieces from that kind of problem.)
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.
They may start in Faith but end in Fear!
How can we bring new, innovative new 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 an easy task but the future of a church depends on it.
I will write more on that later.