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Is Your Church Choosing the Short-term Over the Long-term

September 20, 2011

“I promise u Sunday’s gonna b THE BEST service you’ve ever attended so bring EVERYONE u know. You’ll b blown away & FOREVER changed!!!!!!!!!!”

We’ve all read a similar tweet or Facebook status update like this one by someone . . . often a well-meaning church staff member. It’s understandable. After all, we’re genuinely excited about this weekend’s services. We’ve invested hours planning. We believe there’s big impact potential. And, we’re desperate for God to change lives. All good things. (BTW, I’d rather have an over-excited leader than an under-excited leader.)

However, we can unintentionally “over-promise & under-deliver”. Unfortunately, our passion can turn into a HYPE machine or short-term capitalism. Seth Godin recently wrote an insightful blog on this concept.

This got me thinking. What are some examples in which churches are guilty of pursuing the short-term over the long-term. Here are some examples I think qualify:

Adding new ministries hoping to create immediate excitement vs. improving existing ministries

Spending more resources on temporary stage designs vs long-term environment improvement

Trying to get more “out” of volunteers instead of pouring “into” them

Viewing leadership development of staff as an expense vs. an investment

Having a seasonal or annual vision vs. persistent improvement toward a long-term vision

Pushing too hard for people to make a life-changing decision in today’s service vs. encouraging spiritual steps

Focusing on attendance & offering vs. people movement (service teams, small groups, etc.)

Do you agree that churches are often tempted to choose the short-term over the long-term? If so, what is it that causes us to choose the short-term over the long-term?

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From → Leadership, Ministry

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