Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Presence-Driven Church Abandons Man-made Organizational Structures

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Path to the river in my back yard
In The Purpose-Driven Church Rick Warren got a lot of things right. I think Warren would agree with me that "presence" precedes "purpose" ("purpose" comes out of "presence"). In my new book Leading the Presence-Driven Church I explain and develop this idea.

Here is one of Warren's insights, relevant to the Presence-Driven Church.

 "Let me ask you to consider this question: What do the words committees, elections, majority rule, boards, board members, parliamentary procedures, voting, and vote have in common? None of these words are found in the New Testament! We have imposed an American form of government on the church and, as a result, most churches are as bogged down in bureaucracy as our government is. It takes forever to get anything done. Man-made organizational structures have prevented more churches from healthy growth than any of us could imagine."

- Rick Warren,
The Purpose-Driven Church, p. 377


I meet pastors who are in The System, operating according to its rules while oblivious to its existence. (I think of Kierkegaard's critique of Hegel, and the Danish Church.)

Other pastors love The System, and their place in The Hierarchy. They cherish the power and control, and are threatened should others begin rising to the top.

And, in interactions with pastor-leaders, I have heard the frustration, even despair, of some who came to lead churches that were captive to man-made organizational structures, and the pain and difficulty of escaping this systemic disaster. In my book I show a way out of this.