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Leadership and Institutional Decline

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“And I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans.” -Jeremiah 22:25

The rector at my parish gave the clerical staff an assignment earlier this week. We were to watch the following video (about 3 minutes long) and report on an aspect of our individual areas of responsibility or the Church in general in light of its conclusions. You can also read the full article if you like.

Watch the video or read the article, then come back to read the rest of this post.

The author, Jim Collins, posits five stages of institutional decline (again, read the article or watch the video for more):

  1. Hubris born of success
  2. Undisciplined pursuit of more
  3. Denial of risk and peril
  4. Grasping for salvation
  5. Capitulation to irrelevance or death

After watching the video or reading the article, I invite each of you reading this to report on an aspect of your church life (at whatever level, but not on other jurisdictions, or political units) in view of these stages. Is your chosen aspect already on this path, or is this something you don’t have to worry about right now? If your chosen aspect is at stage 3 or 4, what is the evidence of being there? If stage 5, what’s the evidence of that?

Again, this is a leadership blog, so professionalism and courtesy are appreciated. Please mention the aspect you’re addressing (“my parish,” “my diocese,” “our evangelistic work,” etc.) for everyone’s benefit.

Written by Fr Basil Biberdorf

April 1st, 2011 at 10:24 am

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