Bill Campbell

Thoughts of Life and Ministry

A PATH FOR YOUR CHURCH TO FOLLOW

Church health continues to be a matter of growing concern in congregations. I hear it from church members and church leaders everywhere today. 

But why?

One would think that congregations would be the one exceptional place where peace on earth exists. Can be experienced. Enjoyed. But not so. For numerous congregations of which I’m aware have become war zones. Battle fronts. Artillery ranges. And many within the church find themselves caught in the line of rapid fire. As a result, they become wounded. Experience serious and lethal injuries. 

I hear these reports from church members who are unhappy with their leadership. I nonetheless hear from leadership ministers who are unhappy with the leadership in their church, and with the way they’re often treated by church members generally. What’s worse, these reported issues do not seem to be improving. Getting better. Healing. Rather, they appear to be increasing. Snowballing. 

What can congregations do that are caught in the fierce heat of all these raging battles? Do they ignore them? Hope they will go away? Work harder? Remove suspected problem staff members? Blackball some in-house leaders? Do membership surveys? Have more meetings in which to solve existing problems? Or, do they just simply throw in the towel and close their church doors?

All these questions have been raised. Often. And many congregations have even chosen one or more of the paths here suggested. But to no avail. With no positive results. In fact, all these human efforts have only resulted in bringing greater discouragement and destruction. 

So, what can be done? How can congregations experience relief? Simply talking about the problems will lead nowhere that is helpful. Solutions will not be found. Thus, with these thoughts in mind allow me to offer a helpful path.

  • Begin by openly acknowledging that your church has a problem. This initial suggestion, however, is often side-stepped. Ignored today. For no church wishes to admit that they have a problem. But until this step is taken, no headway can be made.
  • Cease having endless meetings to talk and talk some more. It is a wheel-spinning exercise. Congregations that follow this path only perpetuate the negative climate in their church.
  • Transform your talk sessions into prayer sessions. Seek God’s face. Pour out your concerns to Him. Listen intently for His voice and the direction He will offer you.
  • Search the Scriptures in regard to relating with one another as brethren; be sensitive to the scriptural teaching on practicing love; begin to seriously engage in forgiving one another; focus on what unifies in place of what divides followers of Christ.
  • Study a good textbook together. Bob Russell’s book, When God Builds A Church, is a good example of what I’m here suggesting. Yet, there are many excellent volumns available. 
  • Seek the assistance of a trained church health consultant/coach. These persons bring to you veteran experience and maturity. Furthermore, they will bring objectivity rather than a continued outpouring of negative emotional thoughts and feelings. 
  • Church consulting/coaching is my ministry role. I’m ready, prepared and willing to help your church move toward the needed healing and restoration.

But the question is now this one: Are you willing to acknowledge your existing problems, and to seek the outside trained assistance that is available? If so, help can soon be on the way.

July 8, 2011 - Posted by | Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Prayer, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Shepherds, Spirituality

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