Dogs, Cats, and Congregations

There are so many different leadership models and so many different congregational dynamics in the Church. On the way home from work today I saw a slogan on the license plate of a car:

“Dogs have owners, but cats have staff”

I had the usual response, ‘that so true!’, and then somehow this got me thinking about church, and how the dynamics experienced between people and these pets reflect some of the ways congregations relate to their leaders.

There are congregations who are like cats — the leaders are there to serve them on the their terms. Some congregations can be very controlling, setting very specific expectations for the leadership, effectively becoming the real leaders themselves and those with the official title become simply the puppets. They then provide no real leadership at all.

And then there are congregations who are more like dogs — they are made to serve the vision of the leader(s), who sets very specific expectations for them. In these churches, the congregation can be under very tight control, control which is maintained through almost every aspect of ‘church life’.

Neither of these scenarios is helpful but both are all too real. What then is the role(s) of “leaders” within a church? I leave you with this to ponder…


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