Monday, March 19, 2007

The Anti-Status Quo

Everyone knows the old adage, "if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got." A truer statement has never been uttered. We cannot continue to do the same things and hope for different outcomes. We will always get the same results as long as we maintain yesterday's emphases, programs and priorities. And this is exactly the problem in ministry and churches all over the USA. We are designed to support and maintain the status quo.
Our denominational bureaucracies are designed by the status quo, and therefore they primarily support continuing business as usual. Those who attempt innovation are pushed to the fringe of the establishment by those with power. It is no wonder that growing ministries are found to be independent, non-denominational or in very new denominations. Innovation in established systems is frowned upon.
A NOTE OF WARNING TO NEW DENOMINATIONS: Take care that you do not become enmeshed in the status quo. Continue to innovate. Make creativity and innovation a part of your expectations.
Our local churches are also prone to be committed to the status quo. Long-time members love to say, "We've never done it that way," or "Aunt Mary would have never approved of that." These words are essentially the death rattle of a once healthy and vibrant congregation. Every church should constantly be looking for ways to change, improve and make a new difference in their communities.
Our church members (including most pastors) love the status quo. After all, the way we have always done it is easier than changing. We are comfortable this way. "Don't rock the boat!" Every person, and especially every Christ follower should look for ways to change and grow. We need to constantly be growing in faith and ministry effectiveness. Our culture keeps changing, we ought to be changing with it.

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