Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Countering the Culture of Complacency

Diverse threads of my reading are coming together in a warning for boards of Christ-centered organizations. One thread is the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Metaxas in which we see the tragic results of complacency in the Christian church during the rise of the Hitler. Another thread is the Association of Governing Boards magazine for boards of colleges and universities with a feature article warning trustees about breathing a sigh of relief and relaxing after weathering the recent financial crisis. Still another is an analysis of such cataclysmic events as the Egyptian revolt, the BP oil spill, and the loss of the Columbia space shuttle. In each case, a culture of complacency contributed to the failure to see the coming crisis.

Boards of Christ-centered organizations have had it good for a long time. We have counted on economic prosperity, evangelical clout, political favor, and traditional values to support and strengthen our ministries. But, to assume that they will go on forever is the trap door into a culture of complacency. Perhaps, we need an old-fashioned dose of “WOT’S UP” in one of our board meetings asking, not just about our internal Strengths and Weaknesses, but also about the external Threats and Opportunities of which we must be aware. The exercise is sure to shake up our assumptions and counter the ever-lurking culture of complacency.

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