Feb 5, 2013

Time For Institutional Overhaul

Denominations and the institutional church are in desperate need of a major overhaul.

For anyone who thinks otherwise, consider the following question: What other organization or institution has spent as much money, time, and effort in the last five decades as the institutional church and denominations and has so little to show for it?

Just consider the PC(USA), one denomination out of many. While the population of the United States has more than doubled since 1950 and we've gone from a denomination that went from over 6 million to now less than 2 million.

And, get this, we spent hundreds of millions of dollars every year to produce this result.

This doesn't include the moneys, efforts, and time of local congregations. This is just what the denomination spent.

Any organization producing the results denominations have been producing for the amount of investment it has spent deserve to be bankrupt.

Denominations and the institutional church needs a major overhaul in order to be more effective.

I think most people get that.

The problem is that in most circumstances the very people who are in positions to make significant changes are the very people who will be most impacted by new ways of being church. In other words, the very people who need to discern and implement the changes may very well implement themselves right out of a paycheck.

Upton Sinclair says, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

This absolutely applies to denominations and the institutional church.

I am praying that God raises up a PC(USA) who will take seriously the call "to undertake this mission even at the risk of losing its life, trusting in God alone as the author and the giver of life, sharing the gospel, and doing those deeds in the world that point beyond themselves to the new reality in Christ" (the Previous Book of Order G-3.0400).

The stakes couldn't be any higher.

It's not just institutional viability.

It's all about the mission and the ministry of Jesus Christ.

It's about people taking their place in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

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