Monday, June 10, 2013

Is Your Church More Effective Than The Dallas Cowboys?

In case you are not a Dallas Cowboys fan or you were living in a cage the last 48 hours or so, Jerry Jones once again showed why his team will never win another championship. Jones is a great owner--but a terrible GM and coach. He constantly undermines his coaches, overrules them, tells them what other coaches to hire all the way down to the conditioning coach.

This past offseason he fired Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett's defensive staff that Garrett had handpicked and hired a new staff. And he stripped Garrett of his play calling duties--which were the duties which elevated Garrett to head coach in the first place.

And Jones undermined Garrett even in the announcement of this decision. Jones told the press that Callahan would be calling plays, Callahan heard that Jones said this and said that he was honored to be taking this over--and Garrett refused to even comment about it. It was clear that he first heard about the communication of this through the press--unbelievable. As sports writers are saying, Jones threw his coach under the bus and undermined him.

This has led many to once again conclude that the Cowboys will never win due to Jones, who once again undermined his coach. Read the story: "As Dysfunctional Offseason Continues, Cowboys Setting Themselves Up to Fail" Even for me--and I have seen this from Jones time and time again--this took the cake. I have been stunned the last couple of days at how terrible management this was.

It is not that Jones does not have the authority to do what he does. He does--he's the owner. No one questions that. But by refusing to delegate and empower and support his coach--and by seeking to play GM, which he does not have time to do because he is also the owner, nor the training--he is setting the Cowboys up to fail. Like in the draft, when he overrules his scouts and coach. It is no coincidence that the last time the Cowboys were really successful was under Jimmy Johnson, who had "total control of football operations." Of course, that led to their divorce, as Jones got jealous of the "credit."

And if churches are run in this way, they will not go very far either. Church leaders have all the authority. But if they do not properly delegate, if they undermine, and if they micromanage those who have training and experience, the church will not grow. 

Jones and the Cowboys would be best served by Jones being the best owner that he can be, and hiring smart, experienced people who are empowered and supported in their jobs. And that means not hiring the Dave Campos of the world so that he does not feel threatened, but smart, capable, competent people. Jones is not a coach, he has no experience being a coach, and he is a poor GM. That is why Garrett just bites his tongue. He knows that Jones is setting the Cowboys up for failure, but there is nothing that he can do. 

Jones has done this time and time again with different coaches. On some level he must know that it does not work, but let's face it---he does not want to delegate or "give up control." We shake our head at Jones--but this dysfunctional pattern extends many places--including churches. Perhaps this is why Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you" (Mt. 20:26).

Do you think that the Dallas Cowboys will ever win another Super Bowl with Jerry Jones as owner?
What parallels do you see in churches? 
Do you think Jesus was a micro-manager? Can you support that answer with Biblical examples?

Many thanks to James Nored for letting me repost his article on this site. James is a long-suffering Cowboys fan (aren't they all?) and minister at the Grapevine Church of Christ in Texas. James also founded the website Missional Outreach Network which encourages churches in their efforts to spread the Gospel. He also blogs regularly on that site.

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