Do you agree or disagree with this statement by Kim Fabricius?
How should the church respond to congregational decline, financial deficits, and vocational shrinkage? The answer is obvious: make ministerial selection more stringent, theological education more demanding, and spiritual formation more exacting. And burn anyone who proposes a managerial or entrepreneurial solution.
1. The answer is not that obvious. (No answer usually is).
2. While helping make the ministerial selection more stringent, it really doesn’t address another problem… who’s in charge of the selection process. In many of the more formal denominations, it is the people that are actually a part of the system, and thus, a part of the problem. The idea that they will somehow fix a problem they are a part of is kind of silly.
3. Making theological education more demanding will not necessarily stop congregational decline. Many are educated well beyond their need already.
4. Many problems in churches are caused because there is no entrepreneurialship. Not that the church needs to be run like a business, but there, in my opinion, needs to be a real leader at the helm… someone who will not only preach the Word without compromise, but one that will ultimately be responsible for leading life change and congregational health and unity.
5. And let’s not forget the spiritual element. God many times chooses to work through individuals. Sometimes he even does that through someone with no formal education. And many times he does that through extremely smart and capable entrepreneurial types who have yet to succumb to Kim’s prescribed burning.
Shrinkage is never a good thing. (Just ask George Costanza).
The the answer to congregational shrinkage is much more complex than more education and better selection.
What do YOU think?
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