duct taped tire  As we too well know,  “Duct Tape” has become a metaphor for patching up a problem — at least temporarily! [1] Perhaps, “Flexy Seal” will become its generational replacement — “Just Flexy Seal It!  — Doesn’t sound as catchy!

In ministry, there are ways to “duct-tape” problems.

#1) Tape over “weak-poor-little-terrible-no” church growth.  If the truth be told, too many pastors have lost the vision for effectively reaching a lost world.  The church ministry is really about them!  There are a number of “duct tape” approaches to taping over the lack of vision and growth . . . .

  • Discount It:  “The Lord is not interested in numbers.  It is faithfulness that we as pastors are called to in ministry.”  You will have to argue with all the references to numbers in the book of Acts, and throughout the Scriptures.  It is not an either-or issue — faithfulness or numbers.  It is both-and!
  • Nuance It: “We have had a good number of people join the church ministry over the last year.”  While that may be technically true, there have been two or three new individuals or families, it misleads some to think that there must be more than the two or three of which I am aware.  Legitimate businesses could never get away with hyping the numbers; only the church can do that and get away with it over time.
  • Hype-It: “There have been a good number of spiritual decisions made over the past year within our church — both personally, in families, in baptisms, in membership, in attendance.” Go evangelistic and speak in broad terms.  Stay away from being specific.  Never allow the actual numbers to be known or visualized / graphed out.
  • Count Everything:  While new babies added to the church attendance, and the baptism of children are of great importance, those additions do not reflect the kind of genuine church growth that ought to be taking place!
  • Excuse-Explain It:  “Midst all that has taken place over the past year, we are doing good as a ministry.  There are other ministries which have experienced loss.”  Talk about growth, but never become effectively focused on reaching the world!  Keep doing what has not made a difference in the name of “holding on to the faith.”

Given enough time, some will excuse themselves into a level of decline that only a new pastor can and must address.

#2) Tape over “weak-poor-little-terrible” preaching.  The church is composed of two “wings” — preaching and fellowship.  If you lack either wing of ministry, you are either not a church, or not an effective church ministry.  Tape it over with complaints about today’s world, the lack of spirituality of God’s people in the church, the lack of attendance.  By the way, whatever you are seeing in your church, is the result of your ministry!  The sermons are going nowhere because effective preaching takes more than knowing what the Scriptures teach!

3) Tape over legitimate criticism:  When God’s people begin to realize that their church is in decline and/or poor preaching is being duct-taped and covered up, plan on criticism.   The criticism is legitimate and deserved!   Pastors have been given the privilege of being freed from the work-a-day world of the secular.  They are primarily responsible for the condition of the church!  Learning how to fairly listen to and hear the truth in criticism, and not retaliating or growing angry is what you ought to be at as the pastor!  Rather than invoke Matthew 18, calling up the defensive shield of “they are sowing discord,” engaging in procedures and processes to protectively contain the criticism, or seeking “loyalty oaths”  — how about get honest!  Don’t patch it over. Fix it by applying some genuine and honest humility!! [2]

I am certain that there are more than
“Three Flexy Seal Approaches”
to church problems, but these may be the most prevalent!


2. P.S. — A lack of honesty and humility can be patched over and covered up as well!

2 thoughts on “Three “Duct Tape” APPROACHES TO CHURCH PROBLEMS

  1. I have a friend who patches a hole in his boat (every time) with duct tape to float the river. I jokingly told him it was a good analogy of the church we attended.


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