The Bible on Human Relationships

Christian leaders seem to have forgotten some of the most basic teachings of the scripture. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7) that we are to love our enemies and pray for them.

He also said in Luke 6:35–38, “Love your enemies . . . do good . . . lend, expecting nothing in return . . . be merciful . . . don’t pass judgment . . . don’t condemn . . . pardon . . . give to others––good measure, pressed down and running over.” Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:31–32, “Put away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, and malice . . . be kind . . . be tenderhearted . . . forgiving.” Workers seem to have forgotten one of the earliest Bible verses they learned, “Be kind one to another” (Ephesians 4:32). They also forget the strong New Testament emphasis on love. Christians are not only to love God, but also all other Christians, their neighbors, and even their enemies.

There are a number of things the leader can do to improve human relations in an organization:

1. Love. It is the greatest thing in the world. It will solve our problems of anger, jealously, and bitterness. When Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?,” He said to love God, and your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:34–40). Christians are told to love their brothers, (1 John 2:10–11; 3:11–18; 4:7–11, 21–22) and to even love their enemies (Matthew 5:43–44 and Luke 6:27). Paul said that when one compares faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13). In that passage he gives one of the most descriptive statements of what real love is. He says real love is patient, kind, does not envy, is not proud, is not self seeking, is not easily angered, does not delight in evil, rejoices in the truth, and never fails.  When one has the kind of love for other people talked about in the Bible, there is more concern for the welfare of individuals than for the organization.

2. Get rid of bitterness, anger, and revenge. Bitterness is an inward resentful disposition against others. When you get hurt, angry, or jealous, you can get over it or else you will become bitter. Bitterness hurts the person with it, and not the person it is directed toward. Joseph’s actions towards his brothers in Egypt show an excellent example of forgiveness without bitterness and a desire for revenge. Anger comes and goes, but not bitterness. Bitter feelings remain for years. Bitterness causes one to plan revenge––to get even. Deal with anger quickly to avoid bitterness developing.

The Bible has a lot to say about bitterness and anger.

Matthew 5:22 Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment
Matthew 5:25 Agree with adversary quickly
Matthew 5:39–41 Turn other check and go second mile
Matthew 5:44 Do good to them that hate you
Romans 12:17 Don’t repay evil for evil
Ephesians 4:26 Do not let the sun go down on anger
Ephesians 4:31–32 Put away bitterness, wrath, clamor; be kind and forgiving
1 Thessalonians 5:15 Don’t pay back wrong for wrong
1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing

Why do people become bitter? A number of reasons can be given:
Hurt – Some are hurt and become bitter. Hannah is an example of this in 1 Samuel 1:10 where she was in bitterness of soul, because she had no child.
Anger – left alone it will produce bitterness.
Jealousy – A person that is jealous, like Saul was of David in 1 Samuel 18:7 can develop bitterness.
Lack of love – A person that feels he is not loved unconditionally may develop bitterness.
Personal loss – Like Job expressed in Job 10:1, personal loss can cause bitterness of soul.

Bitterness can be directed toward persons (Saul toward David, child toward parent, employee toward boss); toward institutions like government or company; toward God; or even toward self.

3. Forgive. Forgiveness is to bear away, wipe off, to dismiss. When God forgives, He regards the sin debt as paid. Forgiveness is reckoned to our account, and it no longer has a balance. The blood of Jesus Christ washes our lives clean as He forgives us.

Since God has forgiven us, we are to forgive others.
Matthew 18:35 So likewise will God do if you forgive not men their trespasses.
Matthew 6:12 Model prayer – as we forgive those who trespass against us
Ephesians 4:32 Forgive one another as Christ forgave you.
Mark 11:25–26 When you pray, if you have anything against anyone, forgive, and God will forgive you.
We are to forgive as often as we are asked. In Matthew 18:21, Peter asked, “How often must we forgive?” Jesus said not 7 times, but 7 times 70.

We are to initiate forgiveness.
Luke 17:3 If a brother trespass against you, rebuke him, if he repents, forgive him. 7 times in a day
Matthew 5:23–24 If brother have anything against you, leave offering and go be reconciled
Leviticus 6:2–7 We are to make restitution sometimes when we ask forgiveness

Our job is to be willing to forgive when asked, and to do it immediately and fully. Imposing a condition means not fully forgiving.

Morale in Organizing

Human relations, or morale, is the human climate or conditions which exist where people are working together. Human relations is the study of how people work together effectively toward the accomplishment of both group and individual objectives, and the application of these skills. Human relations includes the understanding of the individual and relations between individuals and others in work group, the work group and leaders, the departments in an organization, and the organization and larger environment.

The objectives of human relationships are improved performance (effectiveness should increase), and increased employee satisfaction. Both of these should increase. Sometimes one is far ahead of the other.

Most often churches do not split or even fight over substantive doctrinal issues, instead fight over interpersonal relationships.  Human relations are a problem in the business world. 85% of all employee turnover in organizations is due to personality conflicts and relationship problems. In an article entitled “Why Smart People Fail,” reason number one was given as a lack of social skills. Most people who fail for this reason talk of “office politics” doing them in, but the politics may be nothing more than normal interactions among people.

If you have trouble with “office politics,” you may really be having trouble dealing with people. Social intelligence is an acquired skill. The more you practice, the better you get. Like good manners, it can be learned.

It has been said that 90% of all people who fail in their life’s vocation fail because they cannot get along with people. Many church executives responsible for the oversight of pastors tell us the number one problem facing pastors today is that they do not know how to get along with people. Church leaders face a major problem in trying to carry out their functions in a church carpeted wall-to-wall with people. The problem can be caused by carelessness, unconcern, lack of knowledge, or expectations that are too high.

Development of individual relationships

To better understand the nature of human relations in an organization, it helps to understand how a relationship develops between two individuals. White (The Art of Human Relations) gives two different theories.

One of these he describes as a “ladder.” It has a series of steps:
Initiate – When two or more people encounter and move toward establishing a connection. There is some attraction, and they desire to establish a connection.
Develop – Expand the dimension of the relationship by investing more of themselves. They decide how much to put into the relationship, and what to include and what to exclude.
Perfect – Begin to pay attention to the relationship itself. It is a time for fine tuning the relationship. Adaptation and attachment are used. They both seek to avoid conflict, and each is sensitive to the other.
Achieve – Begin to enjoy the success achieved in step three. The tendency is to stop working on perfection and enjoy the relationship; don’t want to change from this level.
Falling off the ladder – Humpty Dumpty Syndrome. Ladder relationships are precarious and fragile. When you fall off you can’t get back on. They are unrenewable and practically obsolete. People collect trading stamps (problems) and then cash them in (break off relationship).

White gives a second theory of developing relationships that is better. He calls it a cycle, and describes it as a series of phases or stages:
Phase I: Contracting – A time for clarifying and agreeing upon expectations.  Contracting may be formal, secret, or informal. It is important to clarify the contract at the beginning of a relationship (dating, job, etc.). Barriers or fears to contracting include permanency, unknown, self, and requirements.
Phase II: Commitment – This stage requires risking some of self to the relationship. A number of areas of growth are available including breadth, stability, durability, flexibility, and dynamic or changes.
Phase III: Productivity (honeymoon period) – Here relationships do what they are expected to do. There is a development of good understanding and communication. Then comes change: contracts change, expectations change, needs change, circumstances change, and the PINCH occurs and it signifies the honeymoon is over.
Phase IV: Disruption (blowup) – There are four options: termination, continual eruption, recommitment, or renegotiation and a relationship renewal.

Rush, in his book “Richer Relationships”, gives another series of steps in developing relationships that have some different insights.
Cooperation – Relationship begins. Both parties have needs met. Characteristics are given for this stage: commitment to continually meet the other person’s needs, a constant focus on a common goal, unselfishness, development of mutual trust and respect, emphasis on mutual creativity, and continued new commitments.
Retaliation – Try to get even. We stop thinking about meeting needs of other person and they retaliate.
Domination – One person forces the other to meet his need. Requires manipulation and produces a winner.
Isolation – Dominated person decides his needs are not going to be met and so moves away. Situation is hopeless. Characteristics are given: a retraction of commitment to meet the other person’s needs, no common goals, selfishness and unconcern, mistrust and disrespect, no creativity, and further weakening from continual unresolved problems.
Back to cooperation or relationship is over. Cooperation requires open and honest communication. Cooperation focus is on serving others. Other 3 stages focus on being served. Relationship ends unless there is a return to cooperation.

Delegating

In the preceding chapter, organizing was introduced. Principles were presented along with how to prepare an organizational chart. This chapter is a continuation of the task of organizing and treats the work of organizing. Three sections will deal with the three parts of the work: delegation, coordination, and human relations.

Delegation

The first part of organizing is to subdivide the work and to assign it to others in the group. This is the work of delegation. Delegation of the work is a major part of the task of organizing.

Definition

Delegation is the assigning and entrusting of responsibility, authority, accountability, and freedom for the performance of a part of a leader’s work. It is the pushing down of authority from superior to subordinate. It is distributing the work and authority in such a manner that the skills of subordinates will best be utilized in terms of reaching the objective. Theodore Roosevelt said, “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” That is what delegation is all about.

In a broader sense, delegation is the assigning of tasks to subordinates, but it must be viewed as more than just giving orders. Giving orders would be like telling a person to turn the thermostat up or down. Delegation is when a person is told to monitor the room temperature and adjust the thermostat as needed. That person is put in charge.

The larger an organization becomes, the more necessary it will be for the leaders at the top to delegate. The more responsibility a leader has, then the more of his work he must delegate. The larger an organization becomes, the more an administrator must concern himself with long-range planning and major policies and procedures, and the less he will concern himself with specific details. A chart, prepared for business men, can easily be adapted to the large church staff situation to show how much should be delegated:

1. Pastor (president) – 95% of the work to be delegated
2. Minister of Education (vice president) – 75% of work to be delegated
3. Junior Pastor (department head) – 50% of work to be delegated
4. Maintenance Supervisor (foreman) – 25% of work to be delegated.

The pastor in a large church today can delegate almost all of his work to associates, except for the preaching. A church business administrator can do much of the administering. Associates can do the counseling and visitation. The preaching part is a part that the senior pastor is expected to perform in today’s society.

Advantages

There are many advantages to using delegation. Delegation will:

1. Relieve the pressure on the leader as he passes responsibility downward as Moses did in Exodus 18
2. Allow the leader more time for planning and evaluating
3. Make the leader more promotable because he can do more demanding tasks, and is training a replacement
4. Ensure the work continues when the leader is absent. Jesus delegated to his disciples to carry on His work at the ascension (Matthew 28:19–20).
5. Develop leadership in subordinates as they accept the responsibility and the authority and are given the freedom to do a job. It prepares them for a more responsible future position
6. Make a routine job more satisfying to the workers
7. Increase motivation, challenge, and interest

Delegation is a sign of good leadership. In one study the leaders that were rated as excellent made the most use of delegation.

Leader is still responsible

One important concept to keep in mind is that the leader is still ultimately responsible for the part of his job which he has delegated. Therefore, delegation must always include some type of reporting back. The leader should always be available and ready to give help as needed. The leader should never relinquish the total control through delegation. He should give the subordinate as much freedom as he deserves and can use wisely.

A person can give freedom or authority by degrees. At least three levels can be identified.

(1) The person may not act until he has been given approval.

(2) The person may have authority to act, but must report his actions to his supervisor.

(3) A person may have enough authority to act without prior approval, or even a report of progress. The third type is an extreme. If a worker reports back a number of times and the action is accepted, then he may assume it is permissible to go to the third type. His action is viewed as a policy action.

One way to give freedom and yet maintain control is to set follow-up dates along the way. These check points are built in during the initial planning. They should be displayed in a way that everyone can see progress. This reporting system should be built in so that people can follow-up on themselves. Some workers will require a lot of follow-up, and others will require only a very little. Always remember the old maxim, “people do what we inspect, not what we expect.”

Reasons delegation is not used

If delegation is so good, then why is it that every leader doesn’t do it? This question has many answers. Some leaders think all their job must be done by them personally. They may think that no one else can do anything good enough. Some leaders think that it will take more time and effort to find someone, train them, and check up on them doing a job than it would take them to do it in the first place.

Principles of Operating an Organizational Structure

Just as there are principles for developing an organizational structure, there are principles for operating one as well.

Principle of following the chain of command

The chain of command refers to the line organization. It would work up to the top and down to the bottom of the organization. Links in the chain, representing levels of organization, should not be bypassed in communications. Pastors have a hard time because they are the chief executive officer, like a company president, and should not be directly available to the lower levels of the organization. However, he is also the pastor, and anyone should have access to him in pastoral matters; but in areas of management he had better send matters back down the line to a person’s supervisor.

There should be clear channels of communication and these should be followed. This chain of command, or channel of communication, should provide for sending messages, and also for receiving feedback.

Principle of increasing management responsibility

As a church grows, the pastor has to spend more time in management and less in ministry. This calls for a real adjustment on the part of church leaders. They must do less of the work of the ministry directly, and delegate more of it to others. The larger the organization and the higher the person is in an organization, the more management work is required of the leader. The only way one can serve many is through management, however, the more a person is involved in management, then the less time he has to minister. Pastors tend to choose ministry over management, and the neglect of management leads to the detriment of the whole organization.

Principle of decentralization

An organization that is decentralized gives much more autonomy to each department than a centralized organization. Complete centralization is the concentration of all decision making at the top. Complete decentralization is the delegation of all decision making to the lowest level. Neither will work. The leader must find the magic spot of balance. Hard times will increase centralization.

Principle of management emphasis

When a manager is called upon to divide his time between two types of work, he will tend to show preferential emphasis in his decisions and choices. This preference can cause problems.

Principle of approval of next level

Promotions, demotions, and terminations, and other major decisions should always be approved by the executive immediately superior to the one directly responsible. This is a good control. Many times special forms are used which require the signature of the manager at the next level to show his approval.

Principle of complete accountability

Every level in the structure needs an officer willing to put a sign on his desk saying, “The buck stops here.” Every section must assume complete responsibility and be held completely accountable for their work. Only poor supervisors blame their failure on some other section.

Leaders are always accountable not only for their actions but also for the actions or lack of actions, of their subordinates. Regular reports keep leaders informed of what others are doing, and these reports should be complete, specific, and clearly related to the church’s mission statement.

Principle of complete job assignment

A worker deserves to know what work is going to be expected, and that should be understood before hiring takes place. A job description is the best way to accomplish this. Pity the poor worker who doesn’t know what is expected and has a supervisor who keeps on adding more and more and more. Sunday School workers are often enlisted without having any idea of the training expected, the meetings one is to attend, or the visitation requirements for the job. Sunday School teachers are enlisted and they wrongly assume their only job is to teach the students who appear on Sunday morning.

Principle of commensurate authority

When a person is given responsibility, he should be given a commensurate amount of authority. The worker, and those who work under him, should know the exact limits of his authority. Some pastors seem to have a hard time releasing the authority for a position, although they do hold a person responsible for getting it done. Usually one is impossible without the other one.

Principle of correction

All corrections or criticism should be made in private. Under no circumstances should a subordinate be criticized in the presence of those of equal or lower rank.

Principle of exception

Decisions should be made at the lowest level possible according to the policies that have been established. Exceptions to the policies should be passed up the organization, but never routine decisions. Managers may establish reporting procedures that will call their attention to exceptions, while all “normal” or routine matters are handled by subordinates. Managers should concentrate their efforts on things that are exceptionally good or exceptionally bad, and not worry about things going as expected.

Principles of Developing an Organizational Structure

The first job of organizing is to develop a structure. This is where the leader groups related work and workers together. A number of proven principles should be used in the development of structure. Many of these and the next set of principles have been taken from Olan Hendrix.

Principle of maximum span

This is also sometimes called the span of control. It simply means that as a general rule, the maximum number of workers a supervisor can oversee is about five to eight. This will depend on the type of work, the ability of the supervisor, the geographical dispersal of the personnel, and the other duties of the supervisor. It is felt that the greater a leader’s personal contact with subordinates, the more effective the leader’s direction and leadership will be. The supervision of a small group will give a leader the opportunity to get to know his workers and to show concern and love for them and to help to develop them as individuals.

The church staff member with duties of his own to perform will be able to supervise fewer persons than an office manager whose primary duty is to supervise the work of an office staff. The senior pastor who tries to hold on to all the details will violate this, as he probably wants everybody reporting directly to him, and wants to approve everything. People should not attempt to direct people who are not under their span of control. An organizational chart where this is violated will be short and squatty.

Principle of minimum levels

These first two are closely related. The first warns against putting too many people directly under one supervisor, and the second principle warns against putting too few people under a supervisor. Violation of this principle results in too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Organizational structure can become top heavy. If there are levels with a supervisor over only one or two people, perhaps the structure needs restructuring. An organizational chart where this is violated will be tall and lean.

Principle of single reporting relationships

Every person in an organization deserves to be bossed by one person. If a worker is made responsible to a committee, it produces a mess. A church janitor has the worst job in the world, because everybody in the church tries to tell him what to do. It is hard enough for a worker to please one supervisor, without trying to please a group. More than one boss means more than one set of rules, priorities, and deadlines. Churches with a Christian Day School seem to have a very difficult time with this, especially with a youth pastor teaching in the day school and reporting to the school principal and also reporting to the senior pastor.

Principle of specialization

The work assigned to individuals should be specialized as much as possible. Specialization is the key to the success of assembly lines, and can also contribute to success in any other organization. The more specialized the work is, the more skilled the person is apt to become. Specialization can be in many different categories. If the work becomes extremely specialized, the worker may need very little training and may become bored with doing the same task over and over.

Principle of line and staff

Line positions direct the work of others and have direct responsibility for accomplishing the basic goals of the organization. Line positions give orders. They select the best alternative from the alternatives suggested and carry it out. Staff positions advise and assist the line positions. They gather and analyze information and make suggestions. Staff positions may be personal (assistant pastor or administrative assistant) or specialist (business director or music director).

Churches have a problem sometimes deciding if a position is a line or staff position, as in the case of a music position and a youth position. Churches also have a problem with a staff position, like a business administrator, controlling a line position, like a youth pastor in budget areas. Sometimes a staff position may become a line position, where an administrative assistant is placed over a section of his superior’s work.

Principle of adaptation

Organizations must accept and adapt to continuously changing conditions. People change, environments change, and the demands upon an organization are constantly changing. If an organization structure becomes set and resists any change, the organization will soon be in trouble.

Principle of perpetuation

An organization will seek to perpetuate its existence long after it is needed. There must be a constant evaluation of basic purpose or objective. If conditions have altered the need, then the organization should be dissolved. It takes wise leadership to dissolve an organization, because an organization will resist this. Sometimes an organization can effectively stay alive by changing its purpose, but this needs to be recognized for what it is.

Life Cycle of Organizations

Organizations do change. They go through a life cycle, like people. They are born, go through infancy, reach maturity, enter old age, and eventually die.

Birth

The organization actually begins when two or more people agree to cooperate to accomplish some shared purpose, dream, or vision. This is called the entrepreneurship stage. There is a high level of energy, enthusiasm, excitement, imagination, confidence, and commitment to a purpose. All the healthy organizational life grows out of that purpose or dream. If that dream is ever lost, it must either be revived or a new dream created, or the organization will be in trouble.

Infancy

The organization desires creativity because there is no tradition. A lot of new things are tried. Growth is typical in this period. This is actually a period of disorganization. This is an exciting time in a church where they are growing, open to change, trying new ideas, but still have the original dream or vision. It is a time of inclusion with activities like evangelism, outreach, assimilation, and discipleship.

Childhood and adolescence

This is basically a time of growth. The organization is growing and to grow they are trying new things and adding new programs and ministries. It is also, like infancy, an exciting time for the organization. They are in a process of deciding who they are and what they want to be. Change is a constant experience.

Maturity

The organization has tried a lot of things, the ones that don’t work are discarded, and the ones that do work are used again and again and become traditions. When a church is one generation old, 22–28 years, the church rests. The first vision has been accomplished, and the church needs a new vision. This stage has a lot of policies, procedures, rules, and methodology in place. This is a period of bureaucracy. Robert Dale calls this the stage of ministry, and says it can proceed indefinitely. He describes this stage as a time when the following conditions are met: “a clearly defined and broadly owned kingdom dream, trusting and stable relationships in the congregation, members’ needs being met, volunteers being adequately rewarded, high morale in the membership, and a healthy climate in the congregation” (Pastoral Leadership, p. 89). He warns that if they lose sight of the dream, then decline can begin.

Old age

The organization gradually makes maintaining the traditions more important than the original purpose of the organization, and all creativity and innovation ceases and all energy is spent maintaining and protecting the traditions. This is a period of institutionalism. Some estimate that 80% of the churches in the United States are at this stage. The means become the ends. Morale is low. A church at this stage is plateaued or declining. They have lost sight of the dream or vision. The past is more important than the future. The emphasis is on maintaining the organization and oiling the wheels, rather than growth. If the church begins to decline, they look for someone to blame. Conflict begins to erupt and sides get chosen. As the church begins to polarize, even more people drop out because of the conflicts. Unless they re-dream the dream or get a new dream or vision, they will die.

Death or renewal

The organization will die unless it has some type of revival of creativity and a return to its purposes or the finding of new purposes. If renewal is experienced, the organization will begin to adapt and have a willingness to change. They will begin to take some risks.

An old church that is mature and near the death stage can re-dream and return to the period of infancy or at least childhood and adolescence and begin to grow again.

Many churches have failed to adjust organizationally to their changing environments. Entrenched, declining, aging, and resistant, they find themselves frustrated with the sense of loss and decline which characterize their life. Churches are no more immune to organizational hardness than corporations. Thus, one of the principal needs within denominations and congregations today is the revitalization of old organizations into workable, vibrant, and exciting places of ministry.

Some ways were suggested to pump some new blood into the group:
1. Focus on new groups of young adults
2. Rotate leadership
3. Add staff
4. Take a study leave
5. Go on a mission trip

Robert Dale is well known for his organizational health cycle model. He lists the steps of health or disease which organizations go through: dream, beliefs, goals, structure, ministry, nostalgia, questioning, polarization, and dropout. He shows this as going up and down a hill, with ministry being the peak point. The dream period through structure period are growing, and the nostalgia period through dropout period are declining. He does point out that at any stage in the declining periods, an organization can recapture their dream and return to a growing stage.

Dr. Elmer Towns presents the organizational life cycle in several of his books, especially in “Is the Day of Denominations Dying?”, and shows how the organizational life cycle applies to a local church and to a denominational structure. He states that the stages in the cycle are not reversible.

A potential church staff member should attempt to discern where a church he is considering is in the organizational life cycle. A different type of ministry will be needed, depending on where the church is in the life cycle. Old churches can be brought back to the vibrant life of infancy, but it will take some special effort. Different things will produce growth at various stages of the life cycle.

Intro to Organizing

Organization has a negative connotation in the minds of some Christians and church leaders.  They look at it as someone other than God telling them what to do and how to operate things.  They feel that the local church is best equipped to handle issues and that others should keep from interfering.  Nevertheless organization is an important part of the church and we should not ignore it.

Organizing is the tying together of activities under one person for the accomplishment of a specific goal. It is the arranging and coordinating of people and their relationships into a group with a purpose. It is placing people in a structure to accomplish specific objectives. A leader who fails to organize will simply fail to lead.

Moses is one of the best examples of a leader who failed to organize. When he left Egypt with the children of Israel, he was the only leader and with no organization he had a mess. His father-in-law helped him to organize the people, and then the work could get done
(Exodus 18:13–24).

Purposes and advantages

The ultimate purposes of organizing are to provide efficient performance, reduce the
costs, and to improve morale. A good organizational plan will accomplish all three.
A number of advantages can be listed for having a good organizational pattern. It allows individuals to specialize. It provides for the pooling of group effort without overlap, duplication, and confusion. It establishes a directing authority or person in charge. It reveals who makes decisions and directs others. It shows the relationship of each individual to all others. It shows the channels of communication.

Steps in organizing

There are a number of different tasks or steps that one goes through in organizing.
First, subdivide the work of the program or ministry.
Second, assign the tasks and responsibilities to individuals within the program.
Third, group the individuals in a logical manner so they can carry out these tasks.
Fourth, establish systems of communication, authority, and control for the program or ministry.

Leadership in Christian Organizations

Spiritual leadership will primarily be exercised in a Christian organization. The local church is the basic Christian organization, but other types of Christian organizations do exist. Many parachurch organizations will also fit into this category. Although they are not controlled by a single church or a group of churches, they do exist to serve and give glory to God. Some Christian organizations will be for profit and some not-for-profit. Here are some factors that make a Christian organization different from other organizations.

Christian organizations see themselves as having a special “family” relationship
with the workers and members.

Christian organizations have a given “Bible-based” set of values and priorities. These values are more important than laws of the land, even to a law-abiding company.

The expectations of people involved in a Christian ministry are much higher. They think it will be a “heaven on earth.” People really do expect Christian organizations to be different. Many have been greatly disappointed. In fact, some people have had such unfortunate experiences with Christian organizations that they have said a particular Christian organization acts less Christian than the business world. Money pressures that have too few workers attempting to do too much cause some real problems.

A Christian organization should reflect love for people and concern for the individual. Christian organizations should place a high value on the individual and his personal development and needs. Christian organizations must decide when to put the good of the organization above the immediate needs of the individual.

Many Christian organizations have devotions or chapel services as a normal part of the work week.

The church is different from even other Christian organizations because it must attempt to care for its members, while at the same time use them as workers to accomplish its task. The church must also accept all who volunteer, even if they do not appear to be able to serve, but must be served. James 2, talks of the rich and poor man coming into a church, and tells the importance of receiving all that come. A business that is concerned with producing goods or services that can be sold for a profit on the market place can be easier to manage than a church which is trying to reach, teach, and minister mostly with volunteers.

There are at least two reasons for the difficulty of managing a church. First, Christian organizations usually do not have clear measures of performance. They don’t have a standard of measurement to use in evaluating performance. Secondly, Christian organizations are weak on controls or checks and balances. They are likely to say things like, “This is the Lord’s work . . .” or “We are all Christians here, therefore . . .” and excuse a lack of policies and procedures that would provide controls and checks and balances.