Friday, January 01, 2010

BIG Institutions are in BIG Trouble.

In 2010 institutions are in trouble.
Don't believe me? When's the last time you waited until ABC Worldnews Tonight to find out the latest headlines? Been a while? Or if you want to know the score of the game from last night do you wait until the sports segment of the evening news (remember those)? What about the institution of the music industry? I can't remember the last time I bought a CD, how about you? What about the institution of education? More people are learning online (from home) than ever before. Many schools have twice as many 'distance learners' as on campus students. Do I even need to mention what has happened in recent years to big financial institions? Big Institutions are in big trouble. What about the Church. Ummm, here's what I think and here is what the facts seems to suggest. Churches that function as institions are in BIG TROUBLE TOO. The more a church or denomination functions and feels like an istitution the more trouble it is in. Big institutions, secular or 'sacred' are in big trouble too.

What does an institution feel like? Here's a few.
Centralized power and committed to preserving it (own power/control).
Status Quo
Resources disproportionally spent on survival (us) rather than mission (others).
Slow to Change and often Fearful of It.

Some might be surprised to discover that when Jesus called 12 men to follow him he wasn't beginning an institution (people built that). Jesus started a movement. Unlike institutions, the future of movements looks good, real good. More about this later (this Sunday).

1 comment:

B. Scott Lewis said...

Hey Terry, I think you're right. I think "small" is the new big for today's church (to use one of Barna's titles, lol). Anytime we can decentralize power by empowering people, then movements are underway and are sustainable. Bigger is not necessarily better as we tipically think in the West; if you're small, then you have the capability of making changes/adjustments for the better.