Friday, March 12, 2010

Looking for the "Check Engine" Light in Your Church

I travel around in my Jeep a lot - usually 4 or more days a week. It's really my mobile office: I have almost anything I might need to talk with a church in the back - even a printer, wired up and ready to print from my laptop.

The last couple of weeks, I have had an intermittent "check engine" light come on. It stays on for a few hours, maybe a day, then goes off. There is nothing wrong with the performance of the car - at least on the surface. The only thing noticeable has been a gradual decrease in gas mileage-maybe a mile per gallon or so.

Still, I want to make sure my traveling office doesn't strand me hours from home, so I dropped by my trusty mechanic shop, Autoworks Unlimited, earlier this week for a quick check. With the level of service that you don't see much anymore, Andrew interrupted his work, picked up his code reader, and gave it a quick check.

The diagnosis? An oxygen sensor is shorting out at times, triggering the check engine light. The sensor tells the engine what the mixture of oxygen and gas should be to run most efficiently. When it doesn't work right, the engine doesn't run like it was designed. It's not a big deal, but something that needs attention eventually.

Do you wish that your church had a "check engine" light? Something that would pop up when even the slightest little matter wasn't like it was supposed to be?

Your church is much more complex than even the most advanced engine in today's cars. A church is a dynamic system of relationships between and among people. It is an organic system, composed of people created by God - people created uniquely in just the way He wanted them to be, expressing their gifts according to a unique calling.

As a leader, we must realize that everyone on our team is a crucial part of the system, and we must help each individual discover his or her role and fulfill it. The leader has to recognize when the "check engine" light of a team member comes on, and help diagnose the problem.

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