Helpful Tidbits for Organic Church Life                                           February 2, 2009
The Scoreboard is Changing
My Reflections
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old_tvDear ,
We've all heard it before: that which gets rewarded, gets done. In this week's excerpt, Reggie McNeal pines for a new scoreboard, one that will forever change the church.
So, here's the big question. What are you rewarding? What are you depriving? It's just like TV. The shows with lots of viewers get to stay while the shows that don't get the boot.

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION/TOPIC: Are you supporting (financially or otherwise) the right things?
The Scoreboard is Changing
Excerpt from Missional Renaissance by Reggie McNeal


We need a new scoreboard to support the rise of the missional church in North America. A universal maxim of human behavior - in families, at school, at work, wherever - is that what gets rewarded gets done. This means that the old church scorecard of how many, how often, how much - all bottom-line measures that are calculated in terms of church activity - is counterproductive to participating in the missional renaissance. The old scorecard keeps us church-absorbed. As long as we use it, we will continue to be inward-focused, program-driven, and church-based in our thinking and leadership (2009:16).
My Reflections
In my eighteen years of "church work" I've gone through two capital campaigns, both under the direction of the same company. The first I went through as a staff person, the second as a senior pastor. Let me tell you, my experiences between the two were worlds apart.
To keep things brief, my staff experience made me feel like I was part of a team. As a senior pastor, however, I was privy to all the psychology behind such campaigns: profiling members (assessing wealth), stirring emotions through sermons, making the intangible tangible (because people give to what they can see).
This 'seeing' component, by the way, is huge. That's why foyers often don small realistic models of the buildings that will one day be. And that's why some churches will spend upwards of $100,000 for a video depicting a virtual tour of the new whatever. To reiterate, if a parishioner can't see it, they're not likely to give to it.
So what's this got to do with organic church? Lots. Here's why. Via my research at Fuller (seminary), I've found that those part of an organic church expression are just as likely to take part in consumerist ideologies/tendencies as those that do not. As such, those part of organic church expressions still look to give to those things they can see (reward) while either overlooking or neglecting those things that are worthy of resources. While sponsoring a child through World Vision is good and right (very 'seeable'), here's an abbreviated list of a few other places that reflect a changing and often 'unseeable' scoreboard (be discerning, of course).
  • Needs within your organic church expression
  • If your organic church breaks bread together, help out financially...those main dishes get expensive
  • Consider giving to those who operate as apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists; although they gladly give their time, their time isn't free
  • Consider giving to those who have helped you think missionally; those one hour 'learning lunches' and email responses add up
  • Give to 'organizations' (I use the term loosely) that equip others to make disciples; examples include Church Multiplication Associates, Forge Mission Training Network, and, if applicable, the church planting arm of your denomination
  • remoteIf your organic church has committed together to support some thing, say an overseas missionary or clothes closet, don't conveniently forget your commitment

The remote is in your hands. Click wisely. The scoreboard changes as a result.

Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table