2. Management/Administration: 4. Legal Matters

In light of the fact that North American society is essentially mercenary, that is, it is a context within which each individual can freely engage in and exchange of goods and services in order to turn a profit, the potential for chaos, abuse, and conflict is incalculable. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter put it, “If one man can be allowed to determine for himself what is law, every man can.…

2. Management/Administration: 3. Finances

In this post will address that part of the Church’s finances which involves monies donated. At this point I am not concerned with questions of accounting or the outlay of funds. In the past we have referred to this inward flow of resources as stewardship, tithes, or offerings.[1]Traditionally these gifts were brought to the Church and physically offered during a divine service as an act of worship. Today, however, the direct link…

2. Management/Administration: 2. Planning, 3. An Alternative —Dynamic Discernment

I believe, then, that the uncritical use of this business tool, Strategic Planning, has damaged the Church and is, in some cases, preventing the Church from fulfilling its mission in the world. This tool, developed in the business world, it is not neutral, and it cannot be transferred directly to the non-business environment of the Church. Yet, we do need to need to articulate, develop, and implement the mission we have been…

2. Management/Administration: 2. Planning, 2. Damage Assessment

With its wide-spread use of Strategic Planning, the Church has adopted a set of practices based on principles that are, at least to some degree, at odds with its own teaching. It seems to me that the dangers implicit in the above-mentioned presuppositions have allowed an uncritical use of Strategic Planning, which pose a number of dangers for the Church. First, and this is the lesser of the three dangers, a tremendous…

2. Management/Administration: The Presuppositions of Strategic Planning

In order to achieve their commercial ends business leaders have developed and make use of certain management tools. One of the most well-known of these is the now ubiquitous practice of Strategic Planning. The annual surveys conducted by Bain & Company, consistently point to the predominance of strategic planning.[1]Describing the tool, Bain’s (2017) summary states that Strategic Planning is a comprehensive process for determining what a business should become and how it…

Church in the Land of Commerce: 2. Management/Administration: Introduction

In the world of commerce, the seminal work of Frederick Winslow Taylor The Principles of Scientific Management is considered to have influenced almost all subsequent thinking on management.[1]According to him “The principal object of management should be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for each employee.”[2]After bemoaning the fact that early 20thcentury American industry was suffering from defective systems of management and thus rampant inefficiency…

Church in the Land of Commerce: 1. Introduction

In the previous eight posts I have been trying to describe a number of basic principles which define the shape of the contemporary North American social imaginary. Taken together they both limit and empower by eliciting and overseeing the ways we live together, the things we value and consider worthy of pursuing. They are like the components of a language that make possible the expression of individual self-understanding within the common life…