First Church of the Holy Sausage

First Church of the Holy Sausage

Making Sausage

Is Church Leadership Really Like Watching Sausage Being Made?

Recently, I heard it said, a bit jokingly, that there are two things a person shouldn’t see:

  1. Sausage being made
  2. Church leadership in action

Having seen my fill of church leadership in action, both as a full-time staff member and a deeply involved volunteer, I can tell you that there is some truth to the metaphorical warning. Like any institution that involves multiple people in a decision making process, the very process can be laborious and messy. Points of view, positions and even feelings can get ground up and extruded out, while the goal is that something palatable and useful is being made in that process.

I can also assert that more than a few times I felt as if I was the sausage. Or at least the raw material from which the sausage was squeezed from. Very little seemed “sacred” within the discussion and implementation of the leadership of the church. Indeed, it seemed no better than the poorest of secular behaviors.

But Must It Be Like This?

Here’s the thing: why is it acceptable for the church to behave in the same way as the secular? Indeed, is it so commonplace that it’s to be joked about?

Sausage, by its very nature, has a predictable sameness to it. Precise widths. Uniform lengths. Consistency of texture and taste. One link just like the next. Like little soldiers. After having been crushed, mangled and ground.

Is this what we really want from our church leaders’ experience? Numbing repetition? Commitment to “the way it’s always been done?” Creativity crushed? Acceptance of poor behavior amongst leaders?

A New Metaphor

If, in fact, the actions of the leadership of any church can be compared in any way to the making of sausage, then something is completely out of whack. While this may be commonplace among the secular (and I’m not convinced that’s true), it is not acceptable within a Christian community. It’s nothing more than a glaring symptom of disease, a heartbreaking lack of vision, capitulation and a full embrace of the world’s mediocrity.

1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

Does that sound like sausage making and something to avoid watching?

Engage here. Do you believe that church leaders are called to something higher than sausage creation? Is there someone you know that may need to consider this paradigm shift in metaphors…and behavior?

How to Avoid “Black Crab” Syndrome, Part 3

How to Avoid “Black Crab” Syndrome, Part 3

Meet The Crab

Last time…

We looked at the very real possibility that we, intentionally or otherwise, might be the very “black crabs” to those around us. While wishing for a little support in making progress towards our goals (like a shove from a black crab, rather than a tug), we may, at the same time, actually be the tugging black crab to someone else’s efforts at positive change and growth. Ouch.

mirror in woods

Have you ever felt inner tension at your place in life? Struggled with a desire for “more,” whether it was “more money,” “more job,” “more fulfillment,” “more happiness,” “more friendship,” “more sense of purpose,” “more ____________?” The chances are extraordinarily high that you have. And that you do.

“Black Crab” Big Business

According to one statistic, the self-help industry amounted to over $10.5 billion in 2010. That’s a lot of self-help, don’t you think? Maybe this is why the industry has a perhaps well-earned nickname: shelf-help. Meaning that the delivery system for the eagerly-sought self-help (book, DVD, 3-ring bound course, audio series…) ended up on a shelf, instead of meaningfully absorbed into the self who bought the help, in the first place.

Is it possible, then, that the seeker of the self-help actually impedes their own growth?

Sure. I believe this happens all the time. As I mentioned in my last post, like a crab seeking to escape its bucket, people are driven to reach for more out of life, to move beyond their “bucket” of limitations. Deep down, the belief that there is a wide-world out there, full of opportunity and adventure, pushes us to reach for the lid of the metaphorical bucket. And sometimes, our dreams are dashed because of a dream-deprived loser, suffering from negativity and fear, who is one of the black crabs in our life. But, then, perhaps we are sometimes that black crab in someone else’s life.

However, most often, we let go of the lid. We pull the ripcord. Bail. Implode. Give up. Lose faith. Self-destruct. We “black crab” ourselves.

I’ve experienced this self-induced crab-melt in my life, and I’ve seen it in countless people in my professional life. It’s crazy-making.

Makes you wonder—why is that? That’s where we’re going in the final installment of As the Crab Turns….

What are your thoughts on this? Is self-help good? Bad? Both?

Engage here.

Image by Tasha Kamrowski on Pexels

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