The purpose of any denominational structure is to support the local church. The purpose of the hierarchy is there to help make sure the local church can thrive and continue in mission.
I just read More Than a Hobby: How a $600 Startup Became America’s Home and Craft Superstore by Hobby Lobby founder, David Green. He has a unique and practical approach to business in several ways.
He believes store managers are kings. It’s important for the corporate office to listen to store managers. Everyone at Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby’s top levels of management understands the need to work together to make each store succeed. There’s no place for big egos; the focus is on local stores and not on executive privilege.
Mr. Green lists ways this happens through his book. For example, he and his executive leadership team do much of the dirty work in the corporate office. This limits daily paperwork for store managers so they have more time to be on the floor.
As I read that, I thought of the church.
The church doesn’t exist for denominational offices and headquarters. The local church exists solely for the mission of the Gospel. If that begins to get reversed, we’re in trouble.
Every executive and every parachurch ministry should be focused on helping the local church thrive. The burdens on the local church should be limited so pastors, leaders, and the congregation can be free to soar in their neighborhoods and regions.
Executives and top administrative leaders should strive to help make it easy for the church to grow and go. They should work hard to support the ministry of the local church, which should be the top priority and agenda at every turn.
This lean and mean approach can be effective, but may require a change in programming, structure, or flow.
I believe most church leadership has a heartfelt desire to faithfully serve, but it never hurts to be reminded: the purpose of structure is to make the ministry of the local church hum.