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Twelve Steps Toward Enhanced
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A.
- Number 205
- Another Twelve Steps Process?
- Certainly nearly everyone has heard of at least one of the myriad of "Twelve
Steps" recovery programs for addictions, eating disorders, etc.
- Contrast those recovery systems with this special "Twelve Step" Program for
increased congregational stress. Followed religiously and consistently over a period of
time, this "Twelve Step" program will almost certainly guarantee that you will
be pastoring a declining ministry in only a few short years...or sooner (that is, if you
or the church lasts that long!)
- The Twelve Steps
- 1. Blame someone else for your problems...and expect others to take care of them for
you. After all, they are supposed to bear my burden, aren't they? Besides, how is
this church ever to get anywhere as long as this church has any problems? We'll just have
to wait until the problems are all taken care of. Then we can start to move ahead.
- 2. Be a victim, act like a victim, lead like a victim, and respond like a victim. After
all, doesn't God help victims? Just sit and wait for God. Someday He'll fix your problem
for you and make it all better. Then you can have a happy ministry.
- 3. Resist change regularly, religiously, and righteously. Avoid seeking new challenges
and pursuing new initiatives. Divert initiatives which might prove uncomfortable,
refreshingly different, or those things which "just won't work here." Be sure to
structure a "sound" Biblical argument for your "pious" position. After
all, you are the pastor. Isn't that your job?
- 4. Keep on doing more of the same. As they always say, "The old way always works
better if you work harder." And didn't God, the Bible or some religious person say,
"God helps those who help themselves?" If you're really dedicated, you'll work
really hard...for Jesus of course. Now get to work...harder!
- 5. Make your organization as peaceful as you possibly can. Make for a peaceful today
even if you have to mortgage the organization's future. After all, if we can make today
peaceful, we can certainly make our future peaceful too, can't we?
- 6. Control everything you possibly can. Intervene whenever possible. After all, everyone
loves a "hero"...especially religious ones. Grab for control at every
opportunity. It is for their own good, right? If necessary, go down fighting for this
control if you need it. Isn't that what "faithfulness" is all about?
- 7. Hang on to the expendable, the inefficient, the unimportant, the habitual, the
comfortable, and the familiar. After all, God loves the simple things, doesn't He?
- 8. Pull back, take your time, minimize the risk, delay every decision possible and,
above all, play it safe. After all, there's really no need to have members involved in
visionary discussions which will only require pain, sacrifice, and growth to
implement...is there? Besides, God wants His money used for more important things.
- 9. Fight as many battles as you can, defend the undependable, and take your eye off that
which is important and essential for "winning the war." After all, who has time
to look at the big picture when they're so pre-occupied with hustles and bustle of the the
day-to-day and moment-by-moment tasks of ministry?
- 10. Attend to your own, your members', your leaders', your staff's, and your church's
survival needs. After you have completely taken care of all their needs, then devote all
of whatever energy remains for the unchurched. After all, the unchurched probably don't
really care anyway. If they did, they'd be in your church, right?
- 11. Motivate others by guilt, manipulation, fear and other mind-games as much as
possible. Watch over their every move. Intervene to "fix" what they did wrong
every single time they fail. After all, it is their church. You wouldn't want them to be
making mistakes now, would you? And, if it isn't just so, can you imagine how many people
would be upset? We can't have that! After all, this is a church. It's God's
- 12. Take God off the "shelf" only when you want to bring Him to worship or
when you need Him to get you out of trouble. After all, what more could He be doing in the
church that you aren't already doing? Besides, if He gets the idea to do
something miraculous and exciting, can you imagine how it would hurt this church? Do you
know how many people would get upset? It would simply be downright ungodly, now, wouldn't
- What Price Will You Pay?
- With what style of leadership will you lead your congregation? If you seek no pain,
you're simply delaying the ministry so desperately needed in the present. The longer the
delays, the greater the price you and the congregation will pay for not having taken the
- Now is the day of salvation. The harvest is ripe and the time is short. Take up the
cross of proactive Christian leadership today. Lead on, in the bold, unshakable confidence
of a joyful, Gospel-driven faith, to where Christ shall lead you and your congregation.
- Your church and ministry depends on it!
- Thomas F. Fischer
Index Articles 1-49
Articles 50-99 Articles
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Articles 300-349 Articles
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was revised on:
Tuesday, October 05, 2004 11:03:18 PM