As I read Yanks talk about church leadership and growth, I wonder if they make an assumption that just doesn’t fly here in Australia. See, Australians hate tall-hierarchy and being part of a machine. Whereas (the impression I get) is that Americans are impressed by tall-hierarchy and love to be part if a big machine.
You can see it in sport. Americans love winners, chants, cheering, big crowds, club t-shirts and organisations that bring people together to support a team. Aussies, on the other hand, love the under-dogs and tease the winners. Our chants are feeble for heroes but brilliant at ripping down. I’ve even heard a mate talk about meeting his cricket “idol” one day and guess what… he bagged him out for being old. That’s just what Aussies do.
And it affects our churches. If a church is small, they’re thought of as a bunch of battlers; if it’s big, they’re up-themselves. You can trust people in a small church, but there must be something dodgy going on in a bigger church. Christians are happy to “lend a hand” in a small church, but they’re reluctant to be just one of the “cogs” in a larger ministry.
The trouble is, Jesus’ church is huge, and he’s designed each one to play it’s part… a bit like a cog.