Note: During the current “stay-at-home” mandates and other restrictions in place across the country, I am diving back into 11 years of posts, articles, and reviews across my different websites to bring back timely information for today.
An interesting observation of the church by noted business thinker and strategist Gary Hamel:
It is worth noting that many churches adhere to the same “delivery model” for “spiritual services” and that the standard template is less the product of Biblical injunction than of habit. Unchallenged assumptions include:
- Church happens in church
- Preaching is the most effective way of imparting religious wisdom
- Clergy lead while lay people follow
- More programs equal more impact
- The church service follows a typical order: greet, sing, read, pray, preach, bless, dismiss (repeat weekly)
- Believers, rather than curious skeptics, are the church’s primary constituency
- Going to church is the primary manifestation of a spiritual life
- Church is a lecture, not a discussion
- The primary mission of a church is to serve its members, rather than those outside the church who are searching for a spiritual connection
- The best way to grow the Christian community is to plant little churches that are replicas of big churches
- To bring people to faith, churchgoers need to market their beliefs more professionally rather than live them out more convincingly
What could you add to this list of things that mindlessly perpetuate the past in your organization?
If organized religion has become less relevant, it’s not because churches have held fast to their creedal beliefs; it’s because they’ve held fast to their conventional rituals, roles, and routines.
The problem with organized religion isn’t the “religion” bit, but the “organized” bit. Today’s mainline churches are institutionally powerful but spiritually weak
Inspired by Gary Hamel’s What Matters Now as a part of ongoing research in preparation for a presentation on change at WFX Atlanta 09/19/12