Once upon a time we had a talking car. I hated that vehicle. I won't give away the companyit's in enough trouble already- but my hunch is the idea emerged when a few auto nerds had too much punch at a party. It's one thing being trapped with a passenger who won't hush up, but when it's the automobile itself, that can drive you around the bend.* Third, design your structures with God's glory and the good of people in mind. Over time, we can become slaves to our structures. We call that idolatry. We must design things with biblical wisdom in mind, recognizing that the "right" way to structure is not outlined in Scripture. If our structures do not empower Godglorifying service to people, then they're probably about as helpful, not to mention as frustrating, as a talking car.
Canadian Mennonite January 25, 2010 9 done so the people in these areas would be engaged in how good the deals or how noble our mission—with- our common journey we call life. Unfortunately, some out engaging those people in the essence of who we of the warm church-like things the article mentions are: fellow pilgrims, sharers of hope, love and peace. don’t automatically happen with or to the visitors to While we proudly display the banner which pro- our stores. claims, “Every purchase a gift to the world,” maybe However, when the store becomes an inviting place, in our hearts we could also say, “Every volunteer a welcoming place filled with warmth and caring, we and every customer, a gift to the local and global catch a glimpse of our shared humanity. community.” In my opinion, it is never good enough to just take Rudy Friesen, Winnipeg money out of a low-income area of town—no matter Outside the Box our churches, in this way, may I make Cars are for travel, some humble suggestions: • First, ask committees to be leaders in mobilization of gifts and mission, rather not talking than doers of deeds. Such teams should lead the church into effective ministry, not do ministry for the church. • Second, simplify your bureaucracy as Phil Wagler much as possible. Take a hard, honest evaluation of whether you are unneces- O nce upon a time we had a talk- be structure-free, but I have yet to see a sarily over-structured and then repent of ing car. I hated that vehicle. I body that worked well without a skeleton. it, simplify, and move on. Most structure won’t give away the company— That, however, is the least of most that begins as a good idea is only “good” it’s in enough trouble already—but my churches’ concerns. Many established for so long and then needs to be re- hunch is the idea emerged when a few congregations are ove
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