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Church reality checkcomment (0)

September 19, 2013

Does your church ever see itself as an exception to the biblical teaching about balancing love for self with love for others?

Does your church cut corners on truth-telling?
Does your church ever ignore community demographics because they make you uncomfortable?
Has your church ever fired staff members simply due to personal preferences?

Do you ever explain your long history of short ministerial tenures by saying “you can’t find good help anymore”? 

Have you ever heard these words said in a church business meeting? “That may be in the Bible, but … .”
Have personal agendas ever supplanted spiritual discernment when planning the congregation’s future? 
Are you locked into programs or traditions whose relevance and meaning no one can explain?

Do you sometimes feel that your staff lives in constant fear of offending certain families and/or individuals? 

Does the majority of your financial support come from those over 65?
If you answered ‘yes’ to more than a couple of these questions ...
... then you may need to step back and assess your congregation’s perception of reality.

When we lose touch with reality and live by feelings, we frequently fly our lives into the ground. We all need trusted truth-tellers to help keep us honest and rightly oriented to reality. We can never assume we have a corner on the truth and are above the need for constructive critique.

It is possible for an entire congregation to ignore reality and embrace false perceptions and impressions, but healthy congregations are constantly monitoring themselves and asking the hard questions that keep them rightly oriented to God’s kingdom agenda. 

They focus upon organizing themselves to live out the two great commandments and the Great Commission in their ZIP code and then into the world.

Using the unique strengths of the congregation’s past, they proactively press those positive traits forward into the future. They are willing to be innovative and think creatively about tomorrow without being held captive by their past. 

It will require humility and a Kingdom agenda.

It will call for wisdom that is beyond you.

It depends upon visionary leaders.

It will drive you to your knees in prayer.

It is the difference between life and death.

Source: Bill Wilson, president of the Center for Congregational Health in Winston-Salem, N.C./ABP

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