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3. Identify Hidden Challenges

Top 200 in Adult Ministry at Amazon

Shut Tight

"As someone who has served in a variety of leadership roles throughout my adult life, in both sacred and secular settings, I found Neal Nybo's way of identifying and addressing institutional problems not only refreshing, but also revolutionary. This book helps leaders of all stripes differentiate between problems that are symptomatic and systemic, then provides a great Biblical framework for addressing those problems. But the material isn't just for churches. It's for any organization, faith-based or not, looking to move past the same old chronic difficulties that stand in the way of excellence and effectiveness." Amazon Review

A group of people at a party stand in their host’s kitchen looking at a puddle of water on the floor in front of the sink. While the puddle is a visible and clear problem, they realize immediately that it is neither the only problem nor the most important issue. Cleaning it up will not resolve their situation. Once tidied, the puddle will form again. They know the real problem is inside the kitchen cabinet. Once the cabinet doors are open, they may find a small drip or a stagnant pool damaging the interior of the cabinet or a hidden mold that can hurt anyone who comes near it. The systemic challenge and root issue (a leaky pipe) are concealed, completely out of sight in the cabinet. Before they can discover and address their predicament, they have to risk opening the door. There may be an unsightly mess, a harmful mold, a lengthy process to track the problem to its source, or an unexpected or costly solution that causes inconvenience. Still, to fix the problem permanently, those in the kitchen must open the cabinet.

Shut tight refers to two situations in a church. The first is implied by the cover of this book. The church doors are shut tight....against...what? Against change, questions, outsiders, insiders with doubts? The doors and personality of a church can feel tightly closed against many potential threats or challenges. The second use of the term shut tight is more practical and comes out of a personal experience of the author, one that most readers will have experienced in one form or another. Its called the leak under the sink and it is the metaphor for this book and its strategy. As in the example above, the process in this book helps churches to open their “cabinet” doors and be prepared for what they find. Unlike kitchen cabinet doors, church doors are too often shut tight, resisting most efforts to open them.

What holds your church back from its

God-given direction?

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