Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Kill Your Church... Steps 6-10

As promised, here is part two on How to Kill Your Church. If you haven't already read the first 5 ways to destroy your church, you can read them HERE.

But, to summarize:
  1. Don't accept new ideas
  2. Assume people won't help
  3. Force people to help
  4. Gossip
  5. Backstab

 Now then, on to 6 thru 10... 

6. Embrace exclusiveness

Make sure you use the word "member" a lot. "Oh, we're members"... "you can't do that, you're not a member"... "because I'm a member, I can do this." While I understand it is a wonderful feeling to belong to something, especially those who have a church they are proud to belong to, if you put forth too much of a feeling that your church is exclusive - it's for members only - you're going to lose people, and end up turning people away.

You want to make sure you don't embrace the fact that we're all members of the Church of Christ. Your church is the best, it's the right one, and you are member - and those people over there.... they aren't...

7. Strangers! No! They might steal something.... 

Speaking of "those people over there...", make sure you show that that they aren't welcome. And, that you don't trust them. Keep your eye on them every minute... especially when the offering plate is going around. Make sure they know you're watching... that you think they're going to steal from the plate. Or are going to kidnap one of the young children. Especially watch those that might not look trustworthy (ragged clothes, unkempt hair, etc).

8. Give us all our money!!!

Oh, who doesn't want to run screaming from a church that speaks of money all the time? Scream it from the pulpit. Make a big deal of it in front of new people. If your church gives members envelopes for tracking the offering, make sure all new members are given these envelopes as a "welcome" gift. Those who aren't members yet, but keep coming to your church? Make sure to let them know you disapprove of them getting away from having to pay by not sealing their membership. And a big one - everyone knows offerings are needed to keep a church running. Churches do still have to pay bills and pastors and staff. So, make sure you do not tell people where their money is going. Ignorance is bliss (at least, for those seeking the death of their church).

9. Do not give recognition to those who continuously volunteer and help out at the church...

Have you ever noticed that many churches have a plaque recognizing those people who gave sizable donations to make certain projects happen (maybe they paid for the new pews, or the new addition, or the new high tech high capacity oven), no visible recognition is given to those who clean the church every week, or to those who've taught Sunday School every year for the last 10 years, or who has played the organ every Sunday since they were tall enough to reach the organ keys? Keep this tradition alive. Don't even recognize these people in bulletins, newsletters, or during service. Doing so might keep them around.

10. Put in as much politics as humanly possible....

People just love when church is all about the politics... they love it so much, they'll walk out and never return! Implement as many committees as possible... I mean, there should be committees for the grounds, the building, the women's group, men's group, youth, worship, staff hiring, training, missions, music, Sunday School, and whatever else you can think of.

Now granted, committees themselves aren't bad - they can be very useful tools and can be an encouragement for people to join your church. They may feel they have something they can offer a specific committee. This is why you must make sure it is the same people in all the committees.. or, at least for the most part. Juggle it a bit if you don't want to look too obvious. And be sure there are "gray" areas so arguments can take place - is responsibility for supplies the responsibility of the building committee, the women's group, or the Sunday School committee? Create as much friction as possible within the committees!

Oh, and of course, do not allow any decision to be made right away. If someone brings an idea to the table, make sure to express that it must first go to these 4 committees, and then the council, and must meet the 1297 pages of different committee/council rules and requirements.

And there you have it... 

I hope you've all enjoyed these last 5 ways to kill your Church. I think I'm done (for now anyway), but would love to hear from others anything I might have missed.

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