Here is a good little article from Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback.
Pastor, your church still has an audience to reach. But you may have to change your structure to reach that audience effectively. Jesus said in Matthew 9:17: “No one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.” (NLT)
Yet often we’re too attached to those old wineskins to be the church God calls us to be. We want God to do something new in our congregation, but we’re not willing to make the structural changes to see that happen.
Declining ad revenues tip off magazine publishers to a need for change. As a church leader you can see there’s a need for change, particularly structural change, through these three factors —
1. Plateaued growth
You’re not growing anymore. You just stay the same year after year after year. You’re going nowhere. That is a clear indication that you have the wrong structure in your church. Now understand, structure does not cause the growth in your church, but it does control two things: the rate of growth and the size of growth. Plateaued growth says something’s wrong with the organization.
2. Internal conflict
Internal conflict in your church is almost always a symptom that you’re fighting over decisions. And fighting over decisions means you’ve got the wrong kind of structure in your organization right now.
3. Discouraged leadership or low morale
I have talked with literally thousands and thousands of pastors and church leaders, and without a doubt, the number one heartache pastors have is fighting a structure that won’t let them do what they know God has called them to do. Many pastors become very tired of fighting a bureaucracy and struggling with the power structure. Little cliques and little organizations and the wrong structure will drain your enthusiasm and kill your vision quicker than almost anything.
Notice any of these factors in your church? Maybe it’s time for change.
But here’s a word of caution. Don’t start with structural change. That’s a sure way to have a short tenure at your church!
You and those you lead have to renew your relationship with God, with one another, and to God’s mission in your community before you’ll ever see lasting structural change.
Are you ready for God to do something new in you midst?