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Life-Giving Churches: Lesson 5



We need to create an organizational structure which makes it easy for the church to grow.

Some churches are so disorganized that everyone simply does whatever they want to do whenever they want to do it.  This causes confusion because there is no clear vision. 

Other church structures are too rigid and demanding.  They have rules for everything, and the rules become so restricting they choke the life out of the church.

Traditionalism is the opposite of facilitating organization.  Non-growing churches are viewed by their members as being traditional while growing churches are not.  Traditional churches do not want anything to change.  They are threatened by change and insist on preserving the past. Think of tradition like the leaves on a tree. As long as the leaves are green and serve the tree they are firmly attached, but when they die and turn brown they are released. Do not allow traditions to become sacred.

We must develop a healthy attitude toward church structure.

Church structure is a sensitive subject because it is the foundation upon which we have built our church.  We all tend to be protective of the things on which we have built our lives.

REVIVALIST leaders are skeptical of church structures because they view them as unspiritual.  They deemphasize structure and focus on the moving of the Holy Spirit, because they view God as mystical.  They do not believe we can discover the principles by which God works.

MECHANICAL leaders mistake certain church structures as the very essence of the church.  Because of this they are threatened when anyone questions their way of doing things.  They believe there is only one proper way to have church and of course that is the way they conduct their services. 

Change is always a threat to traditionalists, but anything that is growing is changing.  Growth demands that we change.  The only things which are

not changing are dead.  We cannot grow and remain the same.

If we are committed to the principle of empowering leadership, we know we must continually be developing other leaders.  Any leader who accepts this perspective will continually evaluate which church structures are helping the church grow and which ones are hindering growth.  Growing churches are continually developing new leadership in every area of the church.  Good leaders look for any church structures not facilitating growth. These structures are then changed or eliminated.  Through this process of continual evaluation and change traditionalism is avoided.

The opposite of order is disorder.

Growth causes communication to become more difficult.

Science has discovered cancer is caused by cells in disorder. Cancerous cells are not distinguished by their Substance but by their Structure in the relationship of the individual parts to each other. They are out of harmony with the body.

Before God breathed “life” into clay, He first “formed” it.  (Genesis 2:7)  The same basic ingredients in the soil are exactly the same elements which make the human body.  The difference between the living and the dead is the way the spirit life inside our body causes the individual organs to relate to each other. Just as cancer breaks down the normal cell structure and makes the body sick, in the same way the break-down of good structure in a healthy church stops the church from growing.  One of the best ways to keep a church structure healthy is by meeting regularly for times of discussion.  Good church structure also keeps good records.  These records provide the necessary information to evaluate our progress.

We must create clear lines of communication.

One of the best ways to keep a church structure healthy is to meet regularly for times of discussion. There must be clear lines of communication between the different ministries in the church. These interdependent structures strengthen each other and facilitate growth in the whole church.  This is the principle of the whole being greater than any of its individual parts. 

Think of church structure like the skeleton of the body. Bones are strong but unyielding. Bones provide protection to vital organs or the body, but they also can cripple us if they are not properly joined. Think of joints as places of communication. New blood is released into the body through the joints of the bones. Bones work best when they are not seen. They need to be clothed with flesh. There must be a balance between structure and life. When each part is healthy and functioning in a proper way the whole body is blessed.  In this way a healthy church continues to grow in what seems to be an effortless manner.

Healthy Churches Have Good Communication Systems!

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