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Something’s driving your church. There are a variety of things that run a church…the challenge for many church leaders is no one is really quite clear on what that is.
What drives your church is critical because it impacts everything you do. Ultimately, it directly impacts both your health and your growth as a congregation.
Leaders - Churches - Sizes - Factors - Work
As I talk to leaders of churches of all sizes, I find different factors at work.
As much as we’d all love to say Jesus runs the church, the reality is that church is a partnership. God seems to delight in human interaction, and while God is in control, leaders have a role.
Role - Health - Dysfunction
How we play that role can can create health or dysfunction.
Here are 4 things that shouldn’t drive church growth (and one thing that should).
Churches - Person - Ever—healthy - Impediment - Growth
Small churches are almost always run or controlled by a single person. That’s rarely—if ever—healthy and almost always an impediment to growth.
The usual candidate for this kind of church is a matriarch, patriarch or the pastor.
Matriarchs - Church - Person - Doors - Lights
Matriarchs and patriarchs often emerge in a small church as the one person that effectively keeps the doors open and the lights on.
Interestingly enough, the matriarch or patriarch doesn’t even have to be on the board to exercise their control. It’s just that everyone knows nothing gets done without the approval, blessing or consent of X.
Side - Matriarch - Patriarch - Church - Existence
The commendable side of a matriarch or patriarch is that the church likely wouldn’t still be in existence without them. They are deeply committed to seeing it exist.
The challenges outweigh the benefits though for a number of reasons. First, the church is programmed to stay small…one person leadership naturally stunts growth.
Churches - Person - Preservation - Mode—the - Goal
Second, churches run by a single person are usually in preservation mode—the goal is to keep it going.
Sometimes the single person who runs a church is the pastor. That’s also a bad idea.
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