The Snowball Effect
Believe it or not, this is not another post in homage to this week’s snowfall. For that story – including my gratuitous use of the word “poo” on a ministry blog – click here.
Snowflakes are cute. They adorn Christmas stationery, posters in Target, and your grandma’s festive winter sweater. Everybody loves a snowflake. I’ve never met anybody in my life that had an outright hatred for a single snowflake. They’re adorable…harmless…kind of a kitten of the meteorological world.
But if you take a single snowflake and combine them with quite a few more of their ne’er-do-well friends, they turn into trouble. Oh, not much trouble. But when the street-cruising snowflake gang morphs into a snowball, it’s head lump time.
Take a few snowballs and pack ’em in tight, and you have the possibility for an avalanche. Now instead of one meteorological kitten, you have a horde of wild tigers coming at you full-speed.
Editor’s note: I’m really confused. Can you get to the point?
Misfires in our churches are like snowflakes. Failure to return one e-mail or say hello to one guest, and on the grand scale of things it’s not a big deal. Those isolated misfires can usually be identified and corrected pretty easily, and no one is worse for the wear. On any given week, I can identify a half-dozen misfires in the ministries I oversee. Most are harmless…a quick apology by e-mail or phone and everyone is happy again. Some are a little bit more serious, and that’s when we have to re-evaluate systems and procedures.
But when a ministry consistently misfires and has no room for evaluation and correction, an avalanche is imminent. An avalanche is bad news. It wipes out everything in its path, it can’t be stopped, and more often than not, it kills. Nobody likes an avalanche.
Face the facts: every ministry model in every church is going to have a few misfires. There’s no ministry that doesn’t have its share of flakes (ha ha, I crack me up). A flake here and there? Easily taken care of. Bad flake gangs that are out to TP people’s yards and egg neighborhood windows? Incorrigible, but you’ll probably overcome those, too. But watch out…the rumbling of the avalanche isn’t too far off.
What flakes can you identify in your ministry?
By the way, my college roommate-in-law (definition: the relationship you have with the girl who eventually married your college roommate) is a kick-tail photographer. And though I seriously wonder how she did it, yesterday’s post has some awesome photos of actual, real-live snowflakes. You should check it out and then Snopes it to see if she’s a big fat liar.