Jim Collins the author of the Good to Great phenomena recently published an addendum to his book to show churches and non profits how to evaluate the effectiveness of their ministry. He explained that the Non-Profit group obviously has a different bottom line than the corporate model. Duh! At the same time Andy Stanley said in an interview (Leadership Spring 06) that "there is nothing distinctly spiritual about his leadership" at North Point church. The 20,000 member church must be warmed and excited about that comment!
The issue is how do we evaluate the effectiveness of ministry? bodies in the pews? bucks in the Basket? Buildings? I think that biblical model of evaluating effectiveness is the number of people being moved toward ministry. If we take Eph 4.11f seriously (and I am not sure Stanley does) we need to be bring people into the kingdom, maturing them and equipping them and moving them into some form of service to Christ.
Seems to me the problem with the Megachurch concept is that it is consolidating alot of smaller churches and filling the leadership roles with very competent individuals but moving a smaller and smaller number of people into ministry. Getting more done with less. In corporate america that is efficiency. In the Kingdom of God it is disobedience!
While there is much to be learned from a corporate mindset there is much difference. Megachurches tend to do Jack Squat in the poor areas of the city. There the people, because of the complexity of their problems, demand more than a fine "howdy do" at the doorway of the church. I would guess that Andy Stanley has not sat with a crack addict on the curb at 11:30 pm for a little while. His take on the difference is that some are called to leadership. That is why he thinks the concept of 'pastoring' is a "first century concept". And proposes that we stop talking about pastors as shepherds. He feels more comfortable with the terms CEO or director. Stanley says the difference, according to his thinking, is that of leadership. Shepherds are "non-leaders". But Jesus talked about the difference between the shepherd and the hirling (Jn. 10) and declares a difference in the quality of love delivered. The irony here is that while the public eschews the corporate models, and with the Enrons and Worldcom debacles still on the front page- the church is increasingly abandoning the biblical call to ministry in the terms Jesus used and embracing those that are despised even by the secular world.
Hmmm - the reason I think that more people than ever are drawn to the Megachurch is that there is little for them to do- and fewer to get in their face and point out their hypocrisy and laziness. What percentage of North Point is involved in ministry leadership? Are they raising people to full time ministry? I'd sure like to know.
Maybe the idea is that since God is a shepherd (Ps 23) he wants his leaders to be shepherds? Or maybe he just wants us all to be CEO's- what do you think?