Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Purpose Centered vs. Preference Driven Church

I am in Seattle today sitting at the PNW cabinet table listening to consultant, Rev. Doug Anderson's teaching. Leadership is often about asking the right questions. He is asking three questions. The first is this.

Why are 90% of United Methodist Churches either at a plateau or declining?

purpose centered_______________________________preference driven

Doug's response: All churches are on a continuum between purpose centered and preference driven. Churches who are strongly on the preference driven side will be in decline. Preference driven churches tend to be churches where a small group of people have gained the power to make most of the decisions. How does this happen?
1. Money
2. People who do many things in the church
3. Certain families have clout
4. Conflict - Power group often wins.  Others lose.
Churches in a regular cycle of conflict are often on the preference side of the continuum.

Difference between power and energy.  Energy is non-directional, unharnessed.  Power is directed energy that leads to actual work.  Preference driven churches may or may not have energy.  But purpose centered churches have power.

When speaking to SPRC's of Alaska churches receiving a new pastor this year I have said, "Don't ask your congregation what you want in a new pastor. Ask them what you need in a new pastor that will help you achieve your mission." Church really needs to be about mission and purpose, not our personal preferences.

More to come!


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