How to Spot an Insider

In the book by John Flowers and Karen Vannoy, 10 Temptations of Church: Why Churches Decline & What to Do About it, they write about how to spot insiders within the church.  Those who love the church and have been embedded for years there.  I think it is important to notice who the insiders are within a congregation because insiders will set up the most resistance to change and to open a congregation up you have to open the insider up.

Here is their list (in a Jeff Foxworthian style)

You know you are in insider if….

  • You know the names of a significant percentage of the people in your worshiping congregation.
  • Your table is the first table that fills up at all the church.
  • You can recite the linear history of your congregation for the past two decades.
  • You were around prior to the last building campaign.
  • You are a carrier of “institutional memory.”
  • You have received direct benefits of long-term membership
I am sure there are others.  I had one parishioner introduce himself to me as, “I’m the oldest rat in the barn.”  I should have seen the huge flashing sign over his head that read, “INSIDER!!!”
Insiders are not ‘bad’ but they can get in the way of opening a congregation up to change and moving forward to be the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God in this world.
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