Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Churches That Are Unable to Change

Churches very often will offer ministry ideas that are out-dated, and in teach on topics that very few people are interested in. In other words, churches are often answering questions no one is really asking.

Consider this true story as an illustration. For hundreds of years Switzerland was considered the standard for watchmaking excellence. One day a researcher in Switzerland developed the digital quartz watch. When he presented the idea to the decision makers of the company, they looked hard for all the familiar components of past success. They asked “What is the spring made of?... Where are the twenty-three jeweled parts that have set the world’s time-keeping standard?... And where is the stem to wind the watch or adjust the time?”

This watch did not fit their rigid expectations of what a watch should be, so they rejected the concept as an idea that was defective and would never catch on.

After the Japanese started mass producing the very watch the Swiss rejected, the Swiss market-share dropped from nearly 80 percent to 10 percent. The inability to view the world as it was instead of how it used to be was very costly for the Swiss.

Consider the auto makers of America. Same story. For decades they operated on a business plan that was out of touch with reality. They kept manufacturing and selling automobiles (big SUVs) they thought the public should have, rather than observing what the pubic was actually buying.

Worship is changing today as much as watches have changed. Some churches are taking advantage of the new opportunities creating new worship styles. Others seem to ignore these trends. Unable to see worship in a new light, some churches are stuck in an older form of worship and attracts fewer and fewer worshippers.

Gone is the day of Greco-Roman rhetoric (a proposition and 3 arguments) and somber atmospheres. People today are not responsive to that climate and ministry leaders must be mission-minded, not professional.

Otherwise, people vote with their feet.