Few understand how the waiting game is hurting churches. The waiting game is what I call the avoidance of making decisions. Bureaucracies are especially prone to delaying decisions with endless discussions, studies and delays. Moving from conception to implementation is a long waiting game. Sadly most churches operate like a bureaucracy in that decisions are slow to be made and thus ensues a waiting game.
To be fair no one who advocates waiting does so to hurt their church. In fact just the opposite is occurring. Church leaders are more cautious about decisions at their church than they are about decisions at their business. They correctly know that the decision they weigh in on impacts God’s work. What happens in my experience is they get overly cautious. It takes them longer to make a decision. This means that everything in the church slows to a crawl while our leaders get a good “feel” about whatever is being proposed. Then for churches where the congregation has a vote on matters the decision gets slowed down again.
The waiting game is one of the major reasons why churches are behind today in many aspects. We simply can’t make decisions fast enough. We have 1960 buildings unfit for 21st century ministry needs. Our facilities are aging at the same time our major donor groups are aging with them. The time to act is now but we all too often are mulling over not simply what to do but how to do it.
Just Do It! Remember that Nike phrase? That is what I want to say to church leaders. Do it! Do something! Decide one way or the other but DECIDE! Don’t get me wrong. I do believe in planning and giving thought to our plans. I especially believe you should pray about this major decision. I have simply observed that many churches would rather talk about ministry than do ministry. Churches would rather think about building new facilities than they actually build new facilities. We are waiting for the economy to get better when in actuality that is an excuse for not doing anything. We wait for the right moment instead of seizing the moment we are in.
Too many churches have waited and are waiting for the perfect time to move forward. That waiting has caused the Church to basically lose a decade because of fears and uncertainty over the economy. This is remarkable considering that the Great Recession ended technically in the summer of 2009 almost a DECADE ago. Yet churches are still spooked by the economy. At a time when rates for loans are at historic lows many have missed the opportunity for cheap money. Now rates are beginning to climb upward. It begs the question, what are you waiting for?
Key Reasons Your Church Needs to Move Forward NOW – Here are my bullet points of why you should consider moving forward with your project…
- The economic mood of Americans, particularly those in the Church has brightened.
- Interest rates are still low but are beginning to rise.
- Your key donor group, Baby Boomers, is approaching retirement where they will have less to give. Make your appeal now to capture their last years of top end salaries.
- Most church facilities were built in the last century and are wearing out. Soon this will snow ball into a major issue for churches across the country.
- Putting off your project will only mean you will pay more for it in the future. Proceeding NOW will save you money in the long run.
Many churches will wait until it is too late and many will ultimately close as a result. The churches that survive the challenges of this next decade are those that don’t wait but act. They are resisting the waiting game.
Are you playing the waiting game or moving forward? We can help you get started now. The sooner you start the better off your campaign will be and the more likely that project will indeed become a reality. Let’s get going!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach