Category

Church structure

Finding Average Pastor Salary Harder Than You’d Think

One of the pastors of the Free-Will Baptist Church preaches to his congregation. Wheelwright Junction, Floyd County, Kentucky. 1946. By Russell Lee. NARA

“Could you believe the gall of that guy?”

We were coming out of a rather dreadful sermon on giving in our small, startup church. We were a congregation of mostly low earners — even me at the time — and money was going to be tight, even if everyone did their Biblical 10% (even pre-tax). The pastor decided it was time to kick us for not giving more.

It was a lousy stewards…

Is there a Seminary Education Bubble?

Rural church from Libray of Congress files of WPA photos.

Jerry Bowyer has written a very popular pair of blog post at Forbes.com on what he sees as an overlooked piece of the education bubble he has written about for years: the Seminary Bubble (and part 2).

It’s interesting here because (1) it’s a bubble that because it has a restricted market illustrates the general problems for MBAs, law degrees, and other post-graduate education; and (2) severa…

New Church Model Isn’t: Multisite Is Regurgitation of the Model They Hated

Church near Junction City, Kansas. c 1942. Vachon, John, photographer. US Library of Congress collection.

This continues my examination of American Evangelicals’ organization of their churches, both lay and clergy.

One of the big things in the Evangelical world, a real “game changer” they say, is the multisite church. You’ll hear them say things like “twenty years ago, the Holy Spirit was moving and doing a big thing. And people listening to Him said, ‘It’s time to develop a multi-site churc…

There Is No Single Best Model for Church Organization

Church near Junction City, Kansas. ca. 1942. John Vachon, photographer. US Library of Congress collection.

As I continue my exploration of Christian church organization, specifically focusing on U.S. evangelicals, I need to make something clear from the outset: There is no single, perfect organizational model for all churches.

You would think that this is obvious but it’s not. It’s not even obvious in business management. Elliott Jaques’s ideas of Real Boss and work levels is brilliant but he got…

Megachurches are Liturgical

Manhattan Bridge under construction-1909

This starts my new thing on Evangelical church organization. If you’re not interested in American Evangelicals, you may be lost.

Megachurches are most highly liturgical of any church. Those with televised satellite churches are even more so.

Confused? Thought that megachurches eschewed liturgy for free and loose? Here’s why I say this.

Liturgy is the branding of the church of the midd…

Strong Pastor vs. Democracy in Christian Church Groups

Church near Junction City, Kansas. c 1942. Vachon, John, photographer. US Library of Congress collection.

The church growth industry has led to the highly effective Mega-church model in the United States but has embraced the (actually) new model of Strong Pastor which has led to absolutist authoritarian leadership within the evangelical church growth movement. An examination by focusing on the Christian Base Communities in the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America. Part of a series on Church Organizational Structure and Democracy.

Elliott Jaques on the Problems of Church Organization

Church near Junction City, Kansas. ca. 1942. John Vachon, photographer. US Library of Congress collection.

Many of the work-levels people have worked with churches on their organizational issues. This includes the Church of England and the Illinois association of American Baptist churches. (Anyone know of more?) Let’s take a look at what some of them have said.

Elliott Jaques, who coined the term “mid-life crisis” and was an accomplished psychoanalyst in addition to be a landmark organizationa…

How the Disney World Model Leads to Top-Down Absolute Control

From the Bimbo cartoon “The Bum Bandit” (1931), Fleischer studio- not mickey mouse!

Did the American Evangelical megachurch adopt the unchecked executive model because it wanted to emulate Disney World and its fantasy of American small town life? It’s a charge that’s worth looking at because it can shed some light on this issue. I’m going to be unabashedly churchy in this, so comment if you need a translation of the Evangelical jargon.

In my quest to understand why American…

The Rise of the Great Leader in Evangelicalism Threatens American Democracy

One of the pastors of the Free-Will Baptist Church preaches to his congregation. Wheelwright Junction, Floyd County, Kentucky. 1946. By Russell Lee. NARA

It was Wilfred Brown’s understanding of power and authority that made me consider again one of the things that I find most frightening about current trends in American Protestantism.

American religious life differs in many ways from that in other Western countries. For one, while attendance is in decline, it’s not nearly as precipitous as in Europe. Religion still matters, which is why we hav…

Copyright ©2002-2014 E. Forrest Christian. All Rights Reserved.