Thursday, July 10, 2008

the institution must die to be reborn

the very idea of an ancient/future faith (go here) looks for the church to somehow make a return to an expression of a classical christianity, but an expression couched within the context of a post-christian/post-modern context.

this will call for a return to a canonical christianity, one that employs not only the cannon of scripture, but all the ancient practices, persons and materials that belong to the church's repertoire as well. (go here)

at best this will also call for the demise and dismantling of a dying institutional church. (go here, and here and here) the church as an institution is suffering what all institutions are now experiencing -- dislocation, suspicion & marginality

years ago, dr. gene getz outlined the characteristics of institutionalism:
  1. the organization becomes more important than the people making up that organization
  2. individuals function like cogs in a machine where creativity is lost in the structural mass
  3. the organizational atmosphere becomes rigid and threatening rather than open and free
  4. people are afraid to ask uncomfortable questions
  5. the structure becomes inflexible
  6. people serve the organization and not the purpose of the organization -- i.e means become ends
  7. lots of red-tape means communication breaks down
  8. people become prisoners of the policy manual
  9. individuals become protective and competitive within the cold structure
  10. morale degenerates
  11. a hierarchy of leadership develops making people in the middle and the bottom of the organization feel they really don't count 
more next time