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SHRINES OF EGO

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 3, 2020

BRYCE ON RELIGION

– Why are we building huge structures?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Is bigger really better? Let me give you a scenario: a small church is started whereby the congregation and clergy tend to their faith and enjoy spiritual harmony. Inevitably, someone suggests constructing a bigger building to encourage membership. A mortgage is secured from a bank, construction begins, and indeed membership starts to grow. So much so, new facilities are added and modifications are made to the building until it becomes a landmark of the community. This, of course, forces the church to become more financially motivated to sustain their operations and recruiting campaigns are initiated to bring in more members. Suddenly, members begin to realize they are more consumed with the business of the church as opposed to practicing their faith, and membership begins to decline.

Feeling the effects of a financial squeeze, the church asks for more offerings from the congregation, which helps for a while, but membership continues to decline. Inevitably, the church can no longer sustain their operation and are forced to sell the property and move into more humble facilities.

Sound familiar? This scenario is played out every day not only in a multitude of churches and temples, but in fraternal organizations, nonprofit groups, and in small companies. The yearn to grow beyond their means is simply irresistible to some people. The problem is people tend to lose sight of their product, which, in the church’s case, is the spiritual well-being of the congregation. Any time you forget your mission, your product, you are inviting disaster.

So, is bigger truly better? Not necessarily. What we are seeing is a form of the Peter Principle whereby we grow our organizations beyond our level of competency to control. Personally, I tend to believe we build these huge edifices more for ego than for practicality. This puts us in a position of financially chasing our tail and losing sight of our original purpose. Next time someone suggests building something on a grand scale, instead of just asking, “What will it cost us?”, how about “Who is it going to really serve?”

Understand this, a week doesn’t go by where an ornate church or Masonic lodge isn’t put up for sale or demolished. If you find your leaders are more consumed about finances as opposed to the organization’s mission, the end is near.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

4 Responses to “SHRINES OF EGO”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A W.K. of Cincinnati, Ohio wrote…

    “Looks like those folks are doing things backwards. Maybe they should wait till the congregations outgrow the churches and perhaps the people should have something to say about these decisions.”

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A S.G. of Idaho wrote…

    “This is a great read about small churches and why they should not aspire to be something other than a small church. I always think it is neat when churches actually have the money to build rather than financing them. We have several churches that rent out our school facilities and save their money for years and then build when they have the money.”

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    A P.E. of Tampa, Florida wrote…

    “My once thriving old Masonic Lodge in Maryland decided to build a grandiose addition without much thought on how to pay for it. They soon went bankrupt and had to sell the property.”

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    An H.N. of East Lake, Florida wrote…

    “I really liked your latest article on Shrines of Ego. You are so right. Economics should be mandatory for all students. Too many people never ask the question of how much will it cost!! Take care.”

    Like

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