Maximized Leadership: Part 2 of Effective Churches Think Differently
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. . .
Last week I shared the following:
The way that we think is important because it is our thinking that affects our actions. The way in which we think comprises our attitude. Good attitudes lead to better decisions and healthier decisions. Churches also have attitudes that we often refer to as a “church culture.” Like individuals, congregations as a group have corporate attitudes. What is the attitude of your church? How does your congregation think?
Some years ago, one of my peers in a neighboring state studied the thinking of churches in his region. For the purpose of this study effective churches were defined as those who were experiencing growth in membership. He found eleven distinctive attitudes that were clearly opposite from the corporate attitudes in churches that were plateaued or declining.
You should note that the congregations had much in common. They were Baptist Churches, with small group ministries that generally met prior to worship, and provided the typical ministries and programs you would associate with a Southern Baptist congregation. While the programming and ministries were similar, some were growing while others were not. What was the difference? It was not the style or the programming. It was the mentality of the congregation.
I took one other step in examining these attitudes. I connected the scriptural basis for the attitudes. How does your church think?
I shared the first five last week. Here are the others:
(E= Corporate attitude in effective churches & I= Corporate attitude in ineffective churches)
E- Church is fun and possesses a high level of enthusiasm.
I- Church is viewed as a duty and/or obligation. Somber spirit pervaded. Energy poured into maintenance rather than touching the community.
E- There was admitted tension in this area in the effective churches. However, there was an acknowledgement that the greatest growth possibilities tended to be among the younger population. Therefore, adjustments were made where needed to aid in the appeal to young families. The churches were slowly making changes in this area.
I-Music was viewed as a sensitive subject and there was a reluctance to discuss it or make any adjustments.
*Please note that the style of music according to other studies is not as relevant as the “life and quality” of the music. The only style that was not found in growing churches was “high church” style.
Expectations of Pastor
E- a) The pastor was viewed as an equipper.
- b) There was a “teach me to minister” attitude.
I- a) The pastor was called to preach, visit, and counsel.
- b) There was a “minister to me” attitude.
Willingness to Change
E- a) There was an understanding that growth demands change.
- b) Evangelism was such a priority that it forced the churches to try new things.
I- a) Keeping traditions was a “critical value.”
- b) Change was seen as too great a price to pay.
Role of Laity
I Corinthians 12:7
E- Attendance was desired, but most important value was involvement in ministry.
I- Involvement was characterized in terms of attending and giving.
II Corinthians 5:16-17
E- Measured and described in relation to changed lives.
I- Measured and described in relation to Bible knowledge.