The Church as Institution

David over at NakedPastor has a really interesting post on the church. He points out that as an institution the church wants to survive and grow. This doesn’t seem bad unless you come to the conclusion, as David does, that the church will seek to do this even if it means destroying relationships (and by extension, people) in order to survive.

In some ways this makes the church into a sort of organism itself, seeking to survive above all else, even the welfare of its constituent parts. Some of the comments are also interesting. One in particular suggests setting a shelf life for churches, 10 years and we start over. I’m not sure I’m completely on board with that, but I certainly see the wisdom in planned obsolescence. Perhaps if we saw our models of doing church as being temporal and having only a very limited usefulness regarding how long they will be helpful we could work things out. The idea of starting over entirely, as a local congregation, every ten years brings up – in my mind – some problems. Nevertheless, it is something interesting to think about.


3 thoughts on “The Church as Institution

  1. When I lived in Philly I went to a church that split to two services when they hit 100 people.

    They wanted to keep the service small, so that folks could literally walk in off the street and feel comfortable. Since it was a storefront church meeting in the late afternoons this was not only probable but also occurred several times while I attended. Not infrequently the people were really hurting as well.

    So, I’m not a fan of planned obsolescence, but I can get into purposefully moving past the numbers game.

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