January 08, 2010
"What Really Kills Great Companies"
An interesting article from Gary Hamel in The Wall Street Journal about the inertia of organizations, using the example/analogy of the Church "organization".
What are some of the inertial forces that have prevented churches from reinventing themselves in ways that might make them more relevant to a post-modern world? A partial list would include:
–Long-serving denominational leaders who have little experience with non-traditional models of worship and outreach.
–A matrix of top-down policies that limits the scope for local experimentation.
–Training programs (seminaries) that perpetuate a traditional view of religious observance and ministerial roles.
–Promotion criteria for church pastors that reward conformance to traditional practices.
–And a straightjacket of implicit beliefs around how you “do church.” For example:
Church happens in church.
Preaching is the most effective way of imparting religious wisdom.
Pastors lead in church while parishioners remain (mostly) passive.
The church service follows a strict template: greet, sing, read, pray, preach, bless, dismiss (repeat weekly).