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Small Church Politics-Part 3

Stephanie Caro —  November 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

So the last blog was about the political mud pit around change in the small church. (Go back and read it for the juicy scenarios.)

What’s at the core? 

Change is hard. If you strip away the layers of emotion around yesterday’s scenarios, I’d bet you’d get to the heart of the matter. There’s a reason the phrase is called “fear of change.” That’s it in a nut shell: people are afraid. They’re afraid that the church they knew and loved all their lives won’t be the same church when they need it most – leaving this life into the unknown of eternity. Change threatens our comfort, our security. When I’ve encountered the politics along these lines, it has served me well to remember where the other person might be coming from, especially if they’re older. It gives me an increased sensitivity to their stance and makes it easier for me to back down from any molehills I may be trying to make into mountains.

THE THIRD POLITICAL STRUGGLE?  – “Inward vs Outward”

The conversation that can really bug me: (From church members) “We’re doing all this youth and children’s ministry. Why don’t their parents come and help out around here? And while we’re on the subject, what about young families? We have GOT to do something that gets the young families in here. Its the only way our church will grow again…and our finances.”

How do you deal with the political struggles of getting church members to understand that ministry isn’t what it was in the denominational hey-days of the middle and latter 1900′s?

Stephanie

@stephaniecaro

Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro

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Stephanie Caro has been involved in ministry to youth and youth workers in the local church since…well, a long time – 30+ years. Her humorous, straightforward style keeps her busy presenting and coaching at conferences, training events, camps, mission trips, retreats, churches, etc. Her latest books are, “Thriving Youth Ministry in Smaller Churches” and “99 Thoughts for the Smaller Church Youth Worker,” published by Group/Simply Youth Ministry. Stephanie is a contributing author to several youth ministry resources in addition to her regular column “Smaller Church Youth Ministry” in Group Magazine. Stephanie is Senior Consultant for Mark DeVries’ Ministry Architects and the director for their Small Church Ministry Architects division. She and her hubby, Steve, live in Houston, TX. All 7 kids are grown and out – praise God!

One response to Small Church Politics-Part 3

  1. Just read through the whole ‘Small Church Politics’ series, and love the place where it ends – getting outside the church doors. I have (like so many others) heard many of the same sentiments from different folks. It’s tough because of the ‘layers’ – getting to the base emotion that is causing the politics in the first place.

    We have been going through a video series for our adult Sunday School and the last one of the 7 week series centered on Communion – the gathering and sending out – taking away the lone ranger mentality. We got into a conversation about how new folks like to come in and make lots of suggestions about how certain things could be done differently or better, and that led to his thought: ‘The church is like a family – would you go into a family’s gathering in their home and tell them how to do things differently?’ A valid point, but it led me to ask the question – ‘But what happens when something is wrong or broken and needs to be changed, if that is the mentality, how will we deal with problems?’

    I’m still working on that one. :)

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