October 10, 2007 Featured Article


Two Minuses Don't Make a Plus in the Church

by Ken Johnson

Ken Johnson, President & CEO
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I recently visited a church that looks like it is in real trouble. This church is one that has been dying for the last five or six years and has now added another "death notice" to their list. In math they say that two negatives make a positive. To be honest I have never understood that theory, but I guess it is true. Well, to make a long story short, this church has recently invited a church that has already died, and had even thought that they had their property sold, to join them, which in itself is not a bad idea-not a great idea either-but not totally bad. My suggestion for this kind of situation is that all of the members of the defunct church find other churches, not just one church, but spread out through many churches, and the virus will not infect one church because there won’t be enough of these people in one church to cause a problem.


Two Minuses Don’t Make a Plus in the Church

Here's where the problem becomes a major problem; this dead church has moved into the home church and set up shop as a separate church. They have their own pastor, an Interim Pastor, their own secretary, their own music director and originally they had their own accompanist, and all are being paid. They have a separate office in the church for the secretary and the pastor and they have their members designate their offering for the dead church, which would be an immediate red flag for me. Do you see the potential problems yet?


Regretfully, many church problems occur in the church music program, and it's already beginning to happen here. I tried to talk to the music director when this was all beginning and I think she listened but she didn't want to believe that that could happen in the church. She really should have believed me because she has seen some of these crazy things happen before in this very church.


The music director of the visiting church has already sabotaged the combined choir concept by telling her that he had talked to "his" choir members and said that they didn't want to practice and sing every week. There have been a number of other things that have happened which I won't bore you with, but I will keep you informed as to what happens as time goes on.


Two Minuses Don’t Make a Plus in the Church

I am in prayer that this will not end up killing the home church and I would ask you to pray for the same thing.


© 2007, Ken Johnson, President and CEO of The Ken Johnson Group, LLC, Church Consultants. To contact Ken, or for permission to reprint this article, send an e-mail to: ken@thekenjohnsongroup.com


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