Five People Who Won’t Kill Your Church

August 14, 2009

Thanks to you, the ‘Ten People Who Will Kill Your Church’ were the most visited and talked about posts ever on this blog…which means something like 50 people read them! Woo! It was really great to see so many people share the gritty reality of church leadership and for all the struggling church members to see that you’re not alone.

There were lots of awesome comments. One of the best points was that all of us can help kill a church. Right you are! There are so many traps to fall into. Even by doing nothing, a complacent audience will let a problem fester until it tears the whole thing down.

Some asked me to do a follow up post, ‘People Who Won’t Kill Your Church.’ Sort of like a church ‘dream team.’

That was hard to think up because a dream team doesn’t exist.

Well, it does exist…as a dream. But most (99.99999%) of us will never land that dream team. That, and every church has different needs. My dream team won’t be your dream team.

Still, there are some people you really really need in every church.

Five People Who Won’t Kill Your Church
(And May Just Keep It Alive)

Plumbers: Everyone likes to talk leadership. We have books and conferences and classes and keynotes on the glories of leading. Here’s all you need to know about leaders: You don’t need lots of leaders. They aren’t on this list. Leaders are dangerous…because they know they’re leaders. You need plumbers, and lots of them. Why?

Because churches are full of crap.

That statement works on so many levels. There’s the crap that has to be done for a church to run, and there’s the crap that everyone brings with them to church, and both have to be taken care of. If you want real leaders, look for guys doing jobs around the church that no one wants to do. How about the guy who’s unclogging the toilet? (figuratively or literally) That’s your man, the guy who gets stuff done for others. If you want to be a leader, start fixing toilets.

There’s your leadership seminar. That’ll be $300.

Cheerleaders: Not the kind with pom-poms and short skirts…well, maybe. Pastors don’t need ‘yes men.’ They need people who can keep them accountable, gently. They need people who can tell them when an idea is really bad, nicely. And outside of that, they need to make the pastor, and everyone else feel really good about being at church. Occasional criticism is easier to swallow when there’s positive attitudes everywhere. J-E-S-U-S! C-H-R-I-S-T!! Goooo JESUS!

Cooks: I mean people who can ‘feed’ themselves, and others in a spiritual way. The excuse for leaving a church, “I’m just not being fed here,” is usually a cop-out, like a chick breaking up with a dude by saying, “It’s not you, it’s me,” or, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.” Really? You’re not being fed? Is the pastor supposed to make airplane noises as he brings that baby spoon to your mouth? Let me ask who have you helped feed lately? When was the last time you tried to feed yourself? Some pastors are lousy preachers. But in many cases, I suspect that adults would just rather act like a bunch of diaper babies.

Bouncers: Did you notice how many people came into our church from the outside and did their damage? Now, I’m not talking about making people feel un-welcome at church. But, just like a show, you get the stamp on your hand and you act cool, or you’re going to get 86ed by a big bald guy. That doesn’t make people feel unwelcome, it makes everyone feel safe! Everyone needs to be aggressively protective of the church they steward, because clowns are everywhere. You don’t even have to shave your head…but it might help.

Pastors: These are your leaders, and the church works really well when no one else is trying to be the pastor. Pastors lead by example in ministry, by getting their hands dirty, even by unclogging toilets. He’s the master plumber, the lead cheerleader, the head chef, and the big bouncer. He’s not doing all the work, he’s just leading everyone else in their work, ministering to each other. If the pastor does this, and nothing else, he probably won’t kill his church.

Yeah, I didn’t include God or The Bible, or Ninjas because we all know they’re on the list.

Hey, I don’t know if your church needs a bass guitarist, or a powerpoint guy, or a minister of frosted hair, or anyone else. Not every church needs them, and no matter how awesome your church is, it will probably always want to add a new teammate. So the group you have will never be perfect or have all the skills you’d wish for.

But if everyone is playing one or more of those five roles, you’re doing all right. And if nothing else, you’ll probably prevent most church killers from doing much damage. If you’re lacking any of them, you’ll probably be really hurting.

What do you see as being your role in your church? Are you the big bald guy, or the one with the pom-poms, or something else I haven’t even thought of?

One response to Five People Who Won’t Kill Your Church

  1. Great humor here. Thx.