Friday, May 7, 2010

Reversing the Church’s Decline

From The Living Church-

Now that several leaders are acknowledging the seriousness of the Episcopal Church’s declining attendance, membership and congregations, let’s think about how to change this situation. How can we move toward a more hopeful future for the Episcopal Church? Do we have to accept decline as our fate because other denominations are also in decline and everyone knows Episcopalians have a low birthrate?

If you’re trying to rescue a struggling institution, whether it is General Motors, Dell or Freemasonry, it’s wise to identify what factors will turn the crisis around. These factors are not difficult to identify. Further, if leaders establish a core of critical priorities in time, energy and resources, they would yield fruitfulness.

Our problem is not that we do not know the way toward a turnaround but that, like most failing organizations, we lack the corporate will to make it happen. For example, when General Motors faced its most recent crisis and sought a government bailout, numerous experts in the auto industry addressed what the management of GM needed to do. There was a strong cluster of agreement among the suggestions. Why did GM executives not try those proposed solutions?

The answer, best articulated by John Kotter a decade ago, is that many leaders are too complacent and too invested in the status quo, even if it is failing. Change is often difficult because it means letting go of what we know and moving toward what we do not know.

Throughout the wider North American Church, there are many thoughtful and wise mission leaders who keep pointing to proven strategies and methods. The Episcopal Church’s leadership occasionally plays with these strategies and methods, but we have yet to see a systematic and determined effort to make them dedicated priorities.

More here-

No comments: