The first 2 steps occur with little change in “performance”. The Church is booming and exciting when Step 1 happens. During Step 2 there’s a slight (often un-noticed) slowing of success.
Then Step 3 happens and near the end of this step things really slow down and sometimes plummet.
If you’ve missed noticing the first 2 steps and are in the third step, it’s best you stop everything, change your thinking, before the crash. Because it’s coming!
What is the Step? Denial of Risk and Peril. Here are some signs that indicate Step 3:
- Ever been in a meeting where negatives are raised, and the leadership doesn’t want to listen or comment on them? A sure sign of Step 3. I realize that often, we don’t want meetings to go negative and demotivating. But when Leadership totally ignores the negative and spins it positive, there is a concern.
- As Leaders we love to do projections and shoot towards a big goal. But in order to be effective, we need to base our dreams on capabilities, experience and prayer. In this phase, a Church sets goals that fly in the face of all the facts.
- Making decisions based on ambiguous data. Often when we try to make decisions, we get all the positive facts, but overlook the negatives. We need to identify the “worst-case scenario” and decide if we want to run the risk. Too often, we don’t want to even discuss the negatives.
- Teamwork becomes led by a leadership person who resembles a dictator rather than an encourager or facilitator. Team dynamics start to explode.
- When anything goes wrong, rather than to consider that the Leadership decisions COULD be the issue, there’s always an external blame. Recession, city policies, denomination, etc.
- When a Church seems to be failing, the leadership start to reorganize instead of facing the problems. Internal politics become the issue rather than the actual issues.
- The leaders withdraw.
Then things really start to slide. Once a Church hits the next step, Step 4, it almost becomes impossible to pull out of the downward spin. May the Lord help us see the errors of our ways before we reach this step!