downloadStrong words for denominational leaders:

The problem with denominations is that they want to shape the mission around their polity, rather than shape the polity around the mission. The latter view is the spirit of all the founding fathers and mothers of every denomination, while the former is the sorry state of every denomination today. The lack of mission urgency in North America means that denominational leaders think they still have time to develop modest, incremental strategic plans to tinker with polity, and time afterwards to then go about mission. The truth is just the opposite. The eternal destinies of individuals do not allow such laxness.


Our current polity systems usually enfranchise those people who are the least able to lead while tying the hands of the most creative and able leaders. This statement assumes that the most able leaders are still around after any brief exposure to how religious bodies function. Our polities allow the managers, administrators, and politicians who understand complex bureaucratic systems to become the leaders in congregational, judicatory, and denominational life. In the meantime these systems weed out those with entrepreneurial and leadership skills. These people for the most part leave and create their own ministries or shadow organizations that go around the bureaucracies created by our polities.

~ Hit the Bullseye: How Denominations Can Aim the Congregation at the Mission Field by Paul Borden