J. David Schmidt is a church consultant and President of J. David Schmidt and Associates. From his vantage point of working with many hundreds of churches all across the United States and the world he notes some emerging and waning themes in organizational life. We are living in a time of transition.
Change and transition is not limited to the coasts. Television, movies, music, the Internet and cell phones are shrinking our world. What once started on the coasts took 5-7 years to spread to the mid-section of our country. Today it takes 5-7 months if not 5-7 weeks!
Organizations and institutions, including churches, are immersed in a rapidly changing culture that will either reshape them or render them obsolete. While holding to the Truth of the Word of God we must adjust how we relate, communicate, work together, and organize ourselves.
What follows is one listing of changing themes for organizations in the new millennium. Much of this material is applicable to our churches as we seek to be relevant for a new day and a new century. This list could generate a healthy and helpful discussion with your Board, Leadership Team or Staff.
WANING THEMES ----------- EMERGING THEMES
Top-Down Decision Making -- Shared Decision Making
Traditional Approaches -- Entrepreneurial Approaches
Empire Builders -- Kingdom Builders
"Come Join Us" -- "How Can We Serve You"
"Trust Us" -- Prove Your Integrity
"We Have Our Way of Doing Things" -- Multiple Options To Expand The Kingdom
Male-Only Leadership -- Male/Female Leadership
"We Have a Process to Follow" -- Flexibility, Speed And Agility In Making Decisions
"We Know How to Do This" -- On-Going Learning
"We Have a Heritage to Honor" -- Stable At The Core, Fluid Around The Edges
"We Can’t Do That" -- Shockingly High Level of Customer Service
"Let’s Build Consensus" -- Value-Driven, Visionary Leadership