This message in embroidered form is framed and hangs on the wall of my father-in-law’s den. A veteran of the corporate world, and the the church world; I am sure that he has been a part of many committees.A whole lot of people would agree with that sentiment, especially those who have been part of traditional churches. As a friend once observed, “Did you ever notice that you sit
on a committee?” Committees with their cumbersome procedures, their love of the 67th book of the Bible, and their belief that their chief job is maintaining the status quo, have developed a well earned reputation for slowing any process to a crawl and stopping any momentum from gaining speed. (I know, you’re wondering about that 67th Book of the Bible reference. I am referring to Roberts’ Rules of Order
, everybody who has been to a formal meeting of a church knows that Roberts
has the authority of sacred scripture.–I am being facetious, relax.)
Committees have become synonymous with stultifying bureaucracy. I have watched many a committee and many a bureaucracy kill a mission and drain a vision of its power. The reason is that a church, the Body of Christ to be specific, is not an organization. It is an organism. Organizations have committees, but organisms do not. Organisms have structure but the structure is intended to channel the life that is its many cells into productive and reproductive patterns. Organizations “organize”; organisms “live.” An organism is never concerned with simply maintaining. It is concerned with living, reproducing, multiplying–becoming something new over and over.
Jesus said, “I making something new. I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” Organizations say, “We choose the new only if it does cost the old too much.”
(c) 2010 BY STEPHEN L. DUNN