Dying 2 Live...!

Dying 2 Live...!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Cockamamie" Church Careers

Church for most in this nation is a way of life. States like Texas, California, Florida, Michigan and Illinois are filled with them. City church buildings are mega-sized and located nearly on every corner. I reside in one of the fastest growing cities in the nation for megachurch growth---Atlanta, Georgia. This is one of the places where it's common to observe individuals strolling back-and-forth to a large local church building  (5,000+ in attendance on average). Many are state-of-the-art with intricate design, satellite campuses and multimedia platforms.

So what is it that really goes on in these religious megaplexes? What has everyone's attention so wrapped up? Some would say, "Well, it's the preaching! No, others would reply that it's the band-styled music and casual feel. And even others would highlight that it's all about the free coffee plus friendly environment." With all these statements come job descriptions. Preachers, bands and coffee attendants are here to serve, and I mean serve often. I'm talking about roles treated almost like budding careers. Even though one is only volunteering, it's like you're actually clocking in.

One has to be there not just on time but early and is advised to clean up, leaving late. Departmental meetings must be attended. There are literal job training seminars in the form of leadership development forums. Excellence is demanded and numbers growth is promoted. This is a cycle that goes on for years, every week. After a while in one field, you can transition to another. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a career to me. Some with pay and others with no pay. But should the local church be about making (in-house) careers for nearly everyone involved, similar to a major business? Or is much of this to be viewed as a bit cockamamie (decalcomania).

Here are some real life careers that are hard to believe:

Vacation Specialist
Dog Wig Designer
Professional Ant Picker
Underwear/Hand Model
Video Game Life Coach
Celebrity Umbrella Holder
Cat Psychic
Luxury Fountain Pen Repairer

I realize many of these sound bizarre, and are truly cockamamie. And I didn't even bother mentioning the six figure salary careers of Pet Detective, Food Critic and Gossip Columnist. But is today's local church so different, or so much the same.

Try these on for size:

Director of Fulfillment
Athletics Director
Executive Pastor
Mother of the Church
Parking Lot Director
Armor bearer
Donut/Coffee Manager

Now, no one is opposing these positions and saying, "Hurry up and get those roles out of your local church!" But it's clear to note that many individuals may be better resourced in truly doing work that Jesus desired for us. For that matter, most churches can take another look into seeing what God was more focused on the local church being about as it relates to kingdom labor. And the idea of cockamamie careers probably aren't at the top of the list, or even on His list at all. Again, no one is opposing these positions, just opening church leaders up to a different perspective of reevaluation for resourcing their people. If MOST of what a church leader focuses on being done is only limited to the four-walls of their church, that just may NOT be the greatest focus. People are lost, hurting and dying daily. And get this, they may never step foot in your local church building. How can you reach them, when they're right in your budding city or right outside your door? Church leaders need to know "There's so much MORE God desires of them as leaders who represent Him!"  

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