How to Maintain Control in Your Church

It’s been a long time since I posted anything on leadership, so here goes. What follows is a link to a great site called lifehack.org and an article called “10 Great Ways to Crush Creativity.” lifehack.org isn’t a “Christian” site, but I do have to say that many of their principles are just Scripture applied (truth is truth).

Following the link I’ve listed “churchy” paraphrases of Mr. Sloane’s witticisms. These paraphrases are compiled from attitudes we at Worship Concepts Network have encountered at a few select churches among the many we have partnered with. The irony is that these comments were made at some of the churches that sought us out to help them increase their quotient of innovation, creativity and effectiveness. OK, I couldn’t resist the sarcasm, go figure…

Ten Great Ways to Crush Creativity

1. That’s questionable etymology/hermeneutics/eschatology and doesn’t properly translate the original Hebrew/Greek/Pig Latin I studied for my MDiv/DMin/PhD/XyZPdQat Muchsmarterthan U. Seminary.

2. Too many ideas muddy the waters; the church needs clear direction from the Senior Pastor. Jesus didn’t have a committe, He had disciples. (This, of course, ignores the fact that very few pastors are Jesus and that “we are the body,”not ‘he’ (i.e. the pastor) is the body.”

3. The congregation just doesn’t have the Pastor and staff’s leadership perspective. They couldn’t possibly grapple with this issue.

4. We already have a clear vision of the Great Commission; we just need to apply it like we did in the good old days.

5. Vocational ministry is a lonely business which requires 80-90 hours work per week;I just need to keep my nose to the grindstone. If I just apply everthing thing I learned from Tony Robbins/Steven Covey/David Allen I can do all the ministry of my church; after all, I am the Senior Pastor.

6. People are still people. Regardless of the current drop in involvement, our strategy has worked for the last ninety years. Besides, the internet and social-networking are just a fad much like radio and TV.

7. The Pastor-Parish Relationship Committee requests your presence at meeting convened to review the Video Game Night that resulted in Kool-aid stains on the Fellowship Hall carpet (in spite of the attendance by 300 teens who would not have otherwise darkened the doorstep of a church in one million years).

*The contemporary version of this is: That didn’t seem to be your sweetspot; we didn’t set you up for a win…let’s try you in this position that we haven’t equipped you for, you have no passion to fulfill and will probably result in your being miserable and leaving the church. That way we’ll be able to tell people that it wasn’t our fault at all, but was because you didn’t fit as a team player.

8. part a. That may have worked at other churches, but we don’t do things that way here. You might not be a good “mix” here.

8. part b. We’ve been pillars of this church for decades (centuries). Inviting the Lutheran/Mehtodist/Baptist/etc. church from down the street to join us in starting a soup kitchen might theologically confuse people.

9. Contempt breeds comtempt. (OK, we’ve never heard a church leader actually say that, but many of them promote only from within and then wonder why there aren’t any fresh ideas or that poor attitudes stay the same from one leader to the next.)

10. This isn’t rocket-surgery; it’s just ministry in an increasingly diverse and everchanging culture. The principles that we learned in seminary at Smarterthan U. forty years ago still apply; people are people, afterall.

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