Thursday, September 24, 2009

the business of church

I have been saying a lot lately that the Church is not a Business. Churches should not be run like businesses--there's a different mindset needed. And the business of the Church is not the same as the business of a Business. Corporations exist to sell stuff and make a profit. The church exists to proclaim good news, to (as John Buchanan put it at the beginning of A New Church for a New World) "keep alive the rumor that there is a God."
The problem, of course, is that most people (churched and unchurched, pastors and elders and deacons and lay people together) live in a world of corporations. We work for businesses, live/buy/sell in/from/to businesses--our whole lives in the West are centered around corporations. So for the church to be different is *really* hard. It's hard when we talk about money. It's hard when we talk about employees. It's hard when we talk about programming. It's hard when we talk about ethos/culture. It's just...well...difficult. To be people of grace, an organization of grace, in the midst of a world that is about producing and advancing and *earning* is hard. It takes a shift in mindset, in values, in vision...

The scripture we are working with for stewardship this year is a little obscure, but is obviously a part of my thinking these days. I think I'm only just beginning to open it, petal by petal..."For in Christ, every one of God's promises is a 'yes.'" (2 Corinthians 1.20a) And we are the body of Christ...

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