Why Some Christians and Churches Never Get Well

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Our culture is obsessed with pathology. The moment you feel a symptom you rush to WebMD to find out that you think you have some rare South American fungus that is stopping up your intestines.

Anyone who studies abnormal psychology walks away thinking they have a dozen psychological disorders.

No one goes to the doctor and the doctor says, “What is going well with you today?”


They ask you what “brought you in”.

We are obsessed with what is wrong. What is wrong is good to know but it is insufficient for solving problems. Imagine the doctor sends you out with a diagnosis but no prescription!?!

Knowledge is power, we tell ourselves, and knowing what ails you gives you some sense of comfort or control but there is still a missing piece.

We have clinicians and diagnosticians but few therapists in church leadership. We need more people painting a picture of what health actually looks like rather than spending ALL of our time obsessing over what the problems are.

Both are necessary – but only the later gets the attention.

I can write an article titled, “12 problems with the Church of Christ” and get all kinds of views. Or I can write an article explaining what healthy eldership looks like…something that might actually lead to health…and get crickets.

Moving forward is going to be difficult until we not only understand our problems but get a deeper insight into what health looks like.

Those who need help the most won’t listen to what the problems are or ask questions like,

How do healthy leaders operate? What do healthy elderships look like? You get the idea…

We need to spend far more time focusing on health…if anyone will stop to listen it might just work!

7 Responses

  1. Matt,
    Appreciate your insights. Watch many on YouTube as well. As an 80 year old retired? minister. I agree wholeheartedly with you. Even as an optimist I must confess I see few things on the horizon that indicate any reversal in our downward trend. It is as if leadership is in denial. And if not denial, blind to reality. I have witnessed 4 congregations in my area that have ceased to exist…….for various reasons. I believe we have lost the ability to see the Body truly as God meant it to be. Yes there are still some who are striving to recapture the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount. But those HARD sayings and still difficult to embrace. Me……I continue to pray.

  2. Sometimes new leadership Is needed. Additionally, the more people allowed on committees the better things may be. Have the leadership talk about what they do and let people see them solve problems and work together.

    1. More committees… Hm, interesting idea. We have committees galore in my professional environment, and I find out daily how well they work… Surprise: They don’t work.
      The last time I looked, Committees were not really the way the early church operated.
      Would that more people were familiar with their Bibles, and know what is expected of them by God, rather than committees…

    2. “We already tried that and it didn’t work…”

      Well, if you tried it like a business with paid employees you are right, it probably didn’t work.

      Churches don’t work like businesses but too many people don’t understand the differences.

      Encourage people. Empower people. Value their opinions…find inroads to make them successful and celebrate when they succeed…most committees don’t look like what I am describing at all…they are puppets at the whim and disposal of elders who already know what they are going to do.

    3. Encourage people to be what they are intended to be – Imitators of God, the “Second Incarnation,” hands and feet, comforters, friends, people who show care in actions rather than words…
      Worried about both the spiritual and the physical needs, ministers of reconciliation, focusing on the Father rather than professionals…

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