When a Church’s Committees are out of Control

Many churches have committees, but some of them are out of control. Here’s how you might know:

  1. When there are more committees in the church constitution than there are people in the church. It happens, I assure you. Some churches would rather die than change the way they’ve always done things. 
  2. When the church has not examined, revised, and strengthened its committee structure in years (perhaps even decades or longer). An unexamined structure can quickly become a burdensome bureaucracy. 
  3. When the progress of the church gets bogged down in competing or controlling committees. No structure should get in the way of proclaiming the gospel, reaching lost people, and making disciples.
  4. When one committee is the power broker of the entire church. Perhaps you’ve seen the situation where one particular committee runs the church. In some ways, they’ve taken the mantle of eldership from the elders.
  5. When most committee members can’t tell you what their committee does. Their selection to fill a seat on the committee doesn’t mean that the church leaders explained the committee’s work or equipped church members to serve in that arena. The people just serve.
  6. When committees actually haven’t met or functioned for years. The church still elects committee members (because they always have), but those committees don’t even meet. The committee is largely non-functioning at that point. 
  7. When committees meet, but they don’t actually do anything. They have discussions behind closed doors that seem important, but nothing ever comes from those discussions. The committee has become inwardly-protective. 
  8. When committee membership becomes a goal for church members who want power and control. If members have begun to jockey for power on particular committees, something’s amiss. Fights for position weaken the church’s witness. 
  9. No one in the church will publicly question the value of these committees.That’s a pretty good sign that the church has become defensive; they want to guard their authority and position over against than anything else.
  10. When the church still has business meetings simply so the committees can report. The church thinks it must have meetings for this purpose, even though the committees have little to report. 

What are your thoughts? 


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.