I came across an article today that gives some real insight into how churches and ministries work. The author’s point was that the Church was originally intended to be a community–an association of people interacting with one another and the world from their mutual their faith in Jesus Christ. Here is the insightful part: the author classified churches into either organizations that contain some community, or communities that contain some organization.
Organizations always have a bottom line (money or product or agenda). However, within the machinery and hierarchy of an organization, there are almost always pockets of community–groups of people that freely interact on some level. Some churches and ministries are like this model–the main thing is some bottom line they are trying to achieve. Community is secondary and subservient to the bottom line.
Other churches are primarily about community, but they also see the need for some basic ongoing structure to facilitate the relationships of the community. The organizational structure acts as a tool for the real issue–the relationships that are built and nurtured.
I thought this made a lot of sense. In the U.S., there is no question that the organizational model is usually seen as the superior one. However, many seem to be questioning this model, especially of the younger generation. What do you think? Which kind of church do you belong to?