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Organization Dysfunction: Root Cause of Many Church Problems


I’m convinced that many church problems are rooted in organization dysfunction. Bad situations can often be fixed, if not completely avoided, with good organizational systems.

Personal conflict often results from poor organization. Team harmony is much easier when there is an underlying organizational harmony.

Seems pretty obvious

So I’m in my chiropractor’s office laying face up on the bench while he is working on my neck. As he was pulling, stretching, and massaging my neck, my head was positioned to look at my feet. I noticed my toes moving involuntarily.

When I mentioned this, the chiropractor responded, “everything is connected”.

Literally, from head to toe our physical bodies have skeletal, muscle, and nervous systems that are so interrelated that a slight movement in one area of the body is detected and reciprocated by other parts of the body.

That’s the nature of systems

Systems have a cause and effect relationship.

“A system is a group of interacting, interrelated, interdependent components that form a complex and unified whole” (Anderson & Johnson, System Thinking Basics, 1997).

An action in one component of a system triggers a response in related components, which in turn stimulates responses in other components of the system like a ripple effect.

Smooth running churches have good systems

Fact 1: Churches rely on systems, whether they are intentionally developed or they organically evolve. Intentionality is usually better.

Fact 2: Because of the interconnectivity in systems, what happens in one part of the system has an effect on the other parts.

Fact 3: The best way to achieve and maintain organizational health is to work for alignment within and among the systems in your church organization.

Fact 4: Better systems will significantly increase your horsepower to accomplish more and better ministries.

Question: Isn’t it better to build good organization systems than deal with personal conflicts caused by bad or missing systems?

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