Thursday, March 13, 2008

They Love the Church but Not the Institution

This excerpt taken from article here.

What if we approached our mission with a similar philosophy: “man-max, institution-min”? This is not an anti-institutional philosophy of ministry any more than Honda is an anti-mechanical car manufacturer. It simply recognizes that people are both the instruments and objects of God’s mission in the world. Human beings are the vessels of his Spirit, not organizations or institutions. This would mean asking new questions when the church (the community of believers) seeks to advance the mission of the Gospel:

Not: How do we grow the institution?
But: How do we grow people?

Not: How do we motivate people to serve in the church/institution?
But: How do we equip people and release them to serve outside the church/institution?

Not: How do we convince more people to come?
But: How do we inspire more people to go?

Not: How many programs can the church start?
But: How many programs have other churches started that we can help support?

Not: How many people have a committed relationship with our institution?
But: How many people have a committed relationship with another brother or sister in Christ?

Not: How do we make people dependent on the institution for their growth?
But: How do we equip people to grow independent of the institution?

Not: How much revenue can the institution generate?
But: How much revenue can the institution give away?

Not: How many buildings, pastors, and programs are necessary for the institution to have maximum exposure in the community?
But: How few buildings, pastors, and programs are necessary for God’s people to have time and energy to engage the community?

How these questions are answered will vary from place to place and church to church. How the Spirit of God leads one community of believer to engage the mission will look different than another. I’m not attempting to prescribe a single institutional model as normative for all. What I’m trying to do is challenge the assumptions behind the pervasive belief that sees institutions rather than people as the vessels and instruments of God’s power in the world. Learning to think “man-max, institution-min” may be the first step toward becoming a truly missional, rather than institutional, community.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I like the points and the questions.....still, I wonder with the writer as well as myself how often we "segment" our thinking as far as "church" and "The Church" are concerned.

This is why I've enjoyed Wayne's writings so much.....check out his article entitled, "Why I don't go to Church Anymore" if you haven't's not a slam on "The Church" but rather a great way at looking at "being" as opposed to "doing." The doing can come alongside or after the "being."

for some it's easier than others to have these paradigms broken down and I'm not entirely convinced that it will ever be as quick in our own lives as we think it should be...(I know I speak for myself :)....religiosity and man's organizational/start up drives are pretty insidious :) Only Father can help us with that.

but to tap back into the simplicity of what Father may be asking of us "one day at a time" (to quote our 12 step brothers and sisters) is what I've really been thinking about lately....and enjoying.

I had the privilege of partaking in some pastoral ministry in the parking lot after a business meeting today. How Spontaneous and good! No "me teacher you disciple" stuff....Just listening to a business associate share their life and struggles, me sharing my own expereiences and simply saying God bless you, Stay close to Him...he'll walk with you through this, and I'll be praying for you.

I guess I should post my own post.

All God's love brother...

Learning to let Go in God,


12:42 PM  

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