Helping People to Meet God • Make Friends • Grow in Faith

Healthy and unhealthy directions in churches

A while ago I read the book “To dream again”, which talks about helping churches come alive again. Some of the book would also be applicable to a church like St Paul’s, which is part of the wider Anglican Church. The author also discusses the health of churches and whether they are heading into a healthy or unhealthy direction. Here’s the way he the direction of a church as an organisation.

Unhealthy direction
Healthy direction
The vision is owned by an elite fewThe vision is owned by a broad base of members
Decision making is a top-level function onlyGroup participation in decision making is common practice
During crisis members withdraw and blame each otherCrisis unifies members
Territory is defended.Leaders invite suggestions, feedback, and critique.
Leaders feel isolated and act alone.A team atmosphere and shared
responsibility are apparent.
Members compete.Members cooperate.
Personal needs are less important than organisational goals or vice versa.Formal goals and personal needs are both treated as important.
Conflict is seen as sinful, destructive, and to be avoided.Conflict is viewed as inevitable, constructive, and to be used for personal and organisation growth.
Innovation is surrendered to tradition.Innovation and experimentation are low risk and encouraged.
Open disagreement is discouraged.Agreement and disagreement are both
acceptable and unhealthy disagreement is confronted.

Blessings, Tim