There are many good lessons that churches can learn from well-functioning businesses. I am a big fan of “best practices, and many organizational strategies will transfer directly from business applications into the church world with minimal adaptation.
That being said, I have seen churches go significantly off the rails in one very specific way:
They became obsessed with FAST and CHEAP and lost sight of EFFECTIVE.
In fact, they started treating fast and cheap as if they were goals in and of themselves. They’re not. Fast and cheap are ways of doing things. They are not the things that you are doing. In profit-making endeavors, fast and cheap can mean the difference between making and losing money. The church is about something very different. We certainly have the responsibility to use our resources well and to work hard. But the Great Commandment and The Great Commission are our end goals.
“…isn’t it good stewardship to spend as little money as possible? Actually, no. Quite the opposite, really.
The Parable of the Talents doesn’t scold the two servants who invested what they’d been given wisely. No, it scolds the one who hid the money and didn’t even try to use it.” – Paul Clifford, ChurchProduction Magazine