Dr. Thom Rainier, an expert on church organizational dynamics, has a great article on signs that your church is dying. Titled, “Eight Signs Your Church May be Closing Soon,” seven of the signs undeniably apply to St. Dysfunction aka Grace Episcopal Church. Those interested can find the article at https://thomrainer.com/2017/05/eight-signs-church-may-closing-soon/
Here are his key points;
In addition I’d add a few of my own based on my experiences with Dysfunctional Bob and Jeff “Sugarland” Chiow:
- Assistant rectors repeatedly leave early.
- Members talk about one another in unhelpful ways.
- Does not know how to respond to conflict in a healthy manner.
- Has lost sight of the Christian values that are supposed to be the foundation of a healthy church.
- Resorts to legal and other strategies to address its challenges, versus a Christian perspective.
- Follows a personable clergy person, versus Jesus.
- And one component that integrates all of these: Displays organizational narcissism.
In short, you have to hand it to Dysfunctional Bob: It increasingly looks like he will be successful in killing off a church that has thrived for more than 150 years. And you know what? Bob won’t care. As long as those retirement checks keep coming from the Church Pension Group, he’s going to hang out at the beach, play golf, drink beer, and jog.
Or, as Bob once said to me, “Why should I give a f___?!” (Yes, there were witnesses.)