Monday, June 21, 2010

13 Churches (Part 2 of 4)

We're taking a look at 13 different types of churches that are listed in Ed Stetzer's book, "Comeback Churches." Below are four more types, if you didn't get to see the first three, click here. Again, these descriptions come directly from the Ed's book, and I'd encourage you to buy a copy and read it.

Four Through Seven

Voluntary Association Church. The Voluntary Association church has unwittingly modeled it's organization after a democratic government rather than New Testament principles. It is a church of the people, by the people, and most importantly for the people. It's purpose is to make sure it retains as many people as possible and keeps any new people in their place. In order for this to become a reality, the board of the church is a balanced set of people who represent opposing factions in the church. Whenever one group seeks to make a positive change in the church in one direction, the opposing factions begin to whine, complain, and gossip. It's a perfect democracy modeled after our government--which most would say does not always work so well. The board then meets in emergency session, and the point is raised that three of four people might leave if the positive changes become a reality. Then compromises are made and deals are cut to maintain the "status quo." Of course, someone has explained the "status quo" is simply Latin for "the mess we're in." Due to an overwhelming need to keep everyone happy, the Volunteer Association Church ends up bound, at the mercy of a vocal minority, and ineffective. This type of church will not change until they change their value system.

"We Can't Compete" Church. Many "stuck" churches have simply given up. Like a family-owned business next to a new Wal-Mart, they have given up on making a difference. They have decided that they cannot "compete," and they stop trying. Unfortunately, they have bought into the idea that the unchurched are only interested in program-rich megachurches. But the truth churches of all sizes can turn around and reach the unchurched.

"Decently and in Order" Church. These churches have a high regard for processes but lack passion. They run everything by the book; unfortunately, it's not the Bible. As long as matters great and small meet the approval of various committees and are discussed in minute detail at business meetings, all is well. Unfortunately, they've forgotten---if they ever knew--that the business of the church was given by our Lord in the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

"Square Peg in a Round Hole" Church. In this congregation, people are enlisted for leadership and service, not by their gifts or passions, but by other criteria. You might hear, "We've got to fill this position. Who can you think of that we've not already talked to? Someone else might suggest, "He's here all the time. Let's make him an elder." Bankers automatically go on the finance committee, though they have the gift of evangelism or mercy. People are all in their place, but it might not be the right place to help their church reach those around them. The organization stifles the church's impact.

Check in tomorrow for the next three.

Again my passion is to see the Church become healthy. I believe if you can see what type of church culture you're in, then it will give you the right perspective in how to pray and seek God on how to turn your church around.


  1. Just a nitpick but the United States Government is not a democracy (gov't of the masses). It is and still functions as a constitution based federal republic. In other words the sovereign states are part of a network while the federal government is bound and limited by the constitution. So much of modern federal action is foreign to our founding fathers and beyond our constitution. All other issues are decided by the States or the people. Such an environment discourages gov't existing for the exhibition of power, thus human rights and the people are a priority. However, heavy partisanship drives our federal republic to function more like a democracy.

  2. Yes, I know what you're saying Britt. I was just quoting directly from the book. I think it's funny to hear people say "we are a democracy" because I usually want to respond by saying, "do you know the pledge of allegiance??"
    I believe what Ed was trying to point out, was the actual system of our government and most churches where "voting" reigns supreme.


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