Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It's Your Problem to Fix

Lunch with a friend brought me this story and the OK to share it. When the pastor arrived at the small church, the long, long time (controlling) treasurer immediately got upset with him and declared she was resigning. He said fine. He spoke to another lady in the church who agreed to take the job, then ran it through the Nominating Committee and she was elected.

The new treasurer became the target of the old treasurer. Nothing she could do was right. So finally, in frustration, she took the church books back to the old treasurer and quit. When the pastor heard, he was livid. He called the new treasurer and told her to retrieve the books and bring them to the church, the old treasurer had no authority to have them.

Sunday morning the new treasurer arrived with the books. The pastor called several leaders of the church into the office, took the books and locked them in the desk drawer. "Two treasurers have resigned," he said. "That means there won't be any checks written for bills or salaries, until you find a treasurer that all of you can support."

Within three days they had a treasurer.

Here's the beauty of that story. The pastor didn't "own" their dysfuntional structure. He was firm and clear in letting the leaders know it was their problem to fix. What he did was creative. There was some risk involved, but that risk was nothing compared to the quagmire he'd been in if he had tried to "keep everyone happy." May we all learn from his example.


roadtripray said...

I like this story, and the pastor's approach. I think it worked because the position not filled was one dealing with money. Unfortunately if someone gets in a huff and quits a volunteer ministry position in the church, the rest of the congregation finds it way too easy to just let those ministry needs go unmet.

I wish people could literally see what happens when God's ministry is left untended. If the treasurer doesn't write a check to the landscaper to mow the grass, people will notice the weeds and complain. If the treasure doesn't pay Duke Energy and the lights go out, people will again complain.

So why do we stand by and watch our churches fail miserably at reaching into the community and say nothing? How can we look at our statistical tables and see year after year with a big fat ZERO in new professions of faith? To me that is more disgusting than any patch of weeds.

To answer my own question, I guess that's what pastors should be doing -- pointing out evidence of serious need for evangelistic renewal in the church. And pointing out that it's everyone's job -- lay and clergy.

Of course, I'm preaching to the choir here.


jherson jaya said...

I like what the pastor did. he resolve it as a REAL LEADER and pastor.