by Rich Birch: Are you spending too much time making decisions? Are you and your leaders digging deeper into the reasons why you should or should not do something without actually making a decision?
Analysis paralysis is what happens to leaders when we spend too much time thinking and not enough time acting.
Analysis paralysis can impact any organization, and churches are particularly prone to this sort of non-action because the stakes are so high. Unlike a business where monetary profit is on the line, we feel the pressure of the eternal consequences that are at stake if we don’t take action and fail to lead people to a growing relationship with Jesus. While we need to be careful and work through our decision making in a deliberate, informed manner, you’ll find more churches plagued with inaction than churches making wild, reckless decisions that cause damage.
I’m convinced that analysis paralysis is a widespread epidemic in the local church, and I want to warn you against this harmful approach to leadership. Here are five ways that analysis paralysis might be impacting your church today.
Vision statement over wordsmithing
Have you ever read vision statements from churches? When you look at how churches talk about what they’re called to do, their mission statements all boil down to reaching more people with the message of Jesus and seeing them grow in a relationship with him. Here are a few examples from a quick search around the internet:
“To love the people of Cincinnati into relationship with Jesus Christ and give away to the world what God has given us.”
“We exist to welcome people to faith; equip people with a faith that works in real life; and send us in service into the world in Jesus’ name.”
“We are called to make disciples for Jesus Christ.”
“Helping Others Experience the JOY of Jesus Christ”
“Transforming individuals into empowered disciples of Christ.”
“To worship God, to make disciples of Jesus, and to serve the world.”
“To make more and better disciples of Jesus Christ.”
At the end of the day, we all follow the Great Commission; Matthew 28 lays out what our churches are supposed to do. Going into the world and proclaiming the message of Christ and then going on to disciple, teach, or mentor the people who have responded to that message is at the core of every church…