Church is not about assets.

TWEET from @vatenor: Church should move beyond buildings, budget, and bylaws. We need a new paradigm for church "assets", including staff. http://ow.ly/Nbll

THOUGHTS THAT FOLLOWED:

Community building and community service is critically important, even as a larger church body... but the church must not look at just sharing its buildings as directly missional. The church body must engage with partners and not be afraid to source institutional services,  then utilize those "shared" organizations and opportunities to demonstrate missional actions and behaviors. It must seize opportunities to be missional not replace missional actions with administrative functions of institutional governance. EVERY church should have a corp of home missionaries whose specific task is to engage with local business partners, and particularly community organizations sharing facilities. The "mission" for that corps should be to build relationships, assist generously, and strive to encourage Christian values within those partnering organizations and their patrons/customers.  (e.g. churches don't need to become medical facilities, or schools, or financial consultants, but should source those services and then use the relationships.  The people do the missions work, not the building, or signs, or posters/flyers...

Re Staff...
In most cases these days, Church staff are church assets just like buildings and vehicles. The staff is ultimately forced to do the will of the congregation and tiptoe a delicate line laced with politics, because they must ensure that the institution thrives and survives. Reality here is inescapable. The burden of buildings, bylaws and budgets stifles the individualized dynamic ministry models with the need to make or adjust budget, build new buildings rather than use homes and existing facilities in partnership, etc... a church without a wall must by definition rely on relationships and its congregation for its very existence, in a much more visceral dependancy driven model. The church's staff must be its congregation.

Re: buildings and bylaws   The idea that the church exists to invite in versus an ideological paradigm of going out to tell the message is a serious problem. We put up signs and invite in... Jesus went out to the need. Simple enough testimony there. He didn't need a house or a building. Why do we? for us or for him?

Re: Sourcing Ministry? --- We must indeed seek a paradigm shift for the future. We have here in America a culture of "do it for me". Our congregations write checks to cooperative programs, missions goals, and even fund missions trips (all worthy efforts) yet, those same congregations miss the needs in front of them in their neighbors, coworkers, colleagues and children.  We can source services, but we can not source loving, caring, and acting by signing checks or placing dollars in the plate. Ministry leaders' challenge is to engage the 80% on the bench/sidelines rather than the 20% of active doers already in place. And to succeed we must stop overburdening the few. This goal has not changed in the past 100 years, but we now know that the methods of the last 50 years or so, have NOT succeeded.

Reminder: Leadership is derived from what you choose to NOT do and our resources are limited because we are time bound. We must adopt a laser focus for ministry and then incorporate that into every element of our lives. The church should not and can not do everything. Neither can we as individuals. In ministry, bigger budgets and larger congregations don't equal success.
Ministry and love must be 1x1 and it must be a choice rather than an obligation or a mandate. Groups don't show Jesus' light. Individuals do.

CHURCH is not school, or even college...
Inspiring  adults is about modeling, empowering, and encouraging and then... following as they lead. We are in life not school and tactics which work with youth and children will likely have the opposite effect with mature adults.  

-----------What I think Jesus would say/said to us about this sort of thing...

Hebrews 5:11-14 (THE MESSAGE)   I have a lot more to say about this, but it is hard to get it across to you since you've picked up this bad habit of not listening. By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby's milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago! Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God's ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong.

-------------GLOSSARY:

CHURCH:  a building used for public Christian worship : they came to church with me.

• (usu. Church) a particular Christian organization, typically one with its own clergy, buildings, and distinctive doctrines : the Church of England.
• ( the Church) the hierarchy of clergy of such an organization, esp. the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of England.
• institutionalized religion as a political or social force : the separation of church and state.
• the body of all Christians.

MISSION:

• [treated as sing. or pl. ] a group of people taking part in such an assignment : by then, the mission had journeyed more than 3,500 miles.
• [in sing. ] an organization or institution involved in a long-term assignment in a foreign country : the majestic garden of the West German mission | : [as adj. ] the mission school.
• the vocation or calling of a religious organization, esp. a Christian one, to go out into the world and spread its faith : the Christian mission | : Gandhi's attitude to mission and conversion.
• a strongly felt aim, ambition, or calling : his main mission in life has been to cut unemployment.
• an expedition into space.
• an operation carried out by military aircraft at a time of conflict : he was shot down on a supply mission. 

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