About five years ago, I wrote a post called, “What If Target Operated Like a Church?” It generated a fun conversation, with dozens of commenters adding their thoughts to a list of observations I started. Some of the key observations were about how frustrating it would be if Target had “silos” like I so often see in churches:
Each department in the store would have its own logo to go with its clever name. And, of course, all those logos would be different than the logo on the front of the store.
The workers in each department would all have their own t-shirts and flyers to promote what’s available in their departments. The youth clothing department would have the best flyers.
You wouldn’t actually be able to buy anything from the website, but each department would have its own page explaining why they are such a great department and the information would be several months out-of-date.
If you were in the shoe department and had a question about flashlights, the shoe department employee would have no idea how to help you because your question doesn’t have anything to do with shoes.
Though pastors and other church leaders are reticent to admit it, ministry silos are one of the most common dysfunctions at work in American churches.
People and ministries share the same roof but do nearly everything in isolation. Outside of Sundays, they rarely combine their efforts. Like members of a dysfunctional family, most church staff members know their team isn’t healthy, but they’ve learned to cope and get by, living separate lives within the same house.
It’s not hard to tell when a church has silos. The difficult part is discovering and eliminating their true causes.
To help you do that, I’m sharing a practical eBook:
This eBook explores the triggers and symptoms of a “divided house” so you can identify the steps your church needs to take towards greater unity.