Like all institutions, churches can have leaders, staff and congregants who harbor personal agendas. Those agendas are often checked when the church is healthy but when crisis hits they can appear from wherever they have been hiding. In crisis, churches need leaders who will ruthlessly set aside their own personal agendas and seek only God's agenda. Those same leaders must insist that others set aside their agendas as well.
Personal agenda's are dangerous in the church for several reasons. First, they are personal rather than corporate. Second, they often have hidden in them some advantage to the one whose agenda it is. Often that is power, position, personal preference or influence all of which benefit an individual over the congregation as a whole. Ironically, the church as the bride of Christ is all about His agenda but such details are often forgotten.
Times of crisis are ripe for agendas to pop up precisely because the crisis often creates a vacuum of leadership combined with a future that is unclear. Personal agenda's flourish in this environment as something and someone will take advantage of the situation.
I recently encountered a church going through a major crisis and the agendas are numerous. People who want the senior position, those with a theological agenda, those who are willing to marginalize those who built the church for their version of being relevant, those with power who want to stay on and the list goes on. What is needed here is for all these agendas to be put aside and for the leadership to focus on the health of the church.
In times of crisis, ask all parties to put their agendas aside and to focus on God's will for the Church. Focus on health, not agendas. In fact here is a principle: The more agendas there are in a church the unhealthier the church is.
TJ Addington (Addington Consulting) has a passion to help individuals and organizations maximize their impact and go to the next level of effectiveness. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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