What are some of the intangibles that distinguish healthy churches and organizations from unhealthy? Often, they are the things unseen, unsaid and undone that make all the difference.
Here are 5 Things Healthy Churches DON’T Do…
No.1 – (No drumroll, please.) Healthy churches don’t do drama. How do you define drama? Keep reading.
No.2 – Healthy churches don’t do “needy.” Needy people need attention and recognition. When they don’t get it, they make messes or create relational conflict until people are forced to give them the attention they crave. Their feelings are easily hurt and people know they have to “walk on eggshells” around them. The problem with needy is that it is very attractive to needy. When this is tolerated and “drama queens (and kings)” are given their petty thrones, you quickly create an environment that is altogether unattractive to mature, unselfish, get-it-done people. The church stays inward-focussed, stuck and ineffective.
Healthy leaders create environments where the “atta’ boy!” we all need just comes with the territory. Opportunities are created to train, resource and especially to honor staff and volunteers (“volunteer of the week/month, etc; annual appreciation dinner, etc).
A good slogan to adopt and mantra to repeat is this… “We do needs, we don’t do needy.”
No.3 – Healthy churches don’t do complaints. Not that people won’t complain. However, when the right climate has been created, complainers quickly sense that their whining has fallen on deaf ears. Complainers simply stick out like the sore thumbs that they are.
Constructive outlets are created for genuine issues to be addressed. For example, a place for suggestions on Guest Welcome Cards, a tab on the website and/or an email address to encourage, ask questions, and/or express concerns with the lead team, elders, etc.
No.4 – Healthy churches don’t do gossip. It’s been said that, “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” Ask yourself and your lead team, your small group or Sunday School leaders… “What do you talk about when there’s nothing to talk about?”
Then there’s this… gossip also happens to be sin. Mature followers of Jesus simply don’t go there. And, no, it isn’t okay when framed in the form of a “prayer request” or followed by the disclaimer, “Bless their hearts.” It’s just ugly, despicable, sin. It’s listed throughout Scripture right along with murder, perversion and other wicked acts and attitudes we wouldn’t think of being associated with as good God-fearing people.
When any leader hears gossip rear it’s ugly head, it gets chopped off with a firm “rebuke.” It sounds like, “Listen, they aren’t here. This isn’t our business. This conversation is over.” Purpose environments of encouragement, genuine prayer and concern for others.
No.5 – Healthy churches don’t do selfish. One way this is expressed in unhealthy churches is through territorialism. Sure, there are specific spaces and environments created, outfitted and resourced for targetted groups. However, when there are little skirmishes over tools, toys and equipment, this is a tell-tale sign of spiritual and organization immaturity.
Again, the gift of administration can be applied and things such as sign-in/out sheets are created and long-range planning is employed to make many of the “emergencies” (i.e. a lack of planning) a thing of the past. Stuff is shared and cared for with excellence in order to help others succeed in playing their part in the greater vision.
What unhealthy intangibles have you identified and dealt with on your way to creating healthy churches and organizations? Share your thoughts below in the Reply section…