"I have heard that two equally common complaints sum up the frustrations of most pastors and church board members. The first is that the church is run too much like a business. The second is that the church isn’t run enough like a business...."
"...The truth is you don’t need to visit cutting edge churches to see this debate played out. The tug-of-war between business and family metaphors plays out in countless traditional congregations. For instance, most large Presbyterian Churches I know operate in accord with highly programmatic business oriented thinking. Many other Presbyterians I meet say they would never join these large congregations because they enjoy the warm friendly family nature of their small congregation. Of course, almost every church I have seen close could have had as their epitaph “We were a warm friendly family church.” So who is right in this debate? I would say both…and neither...."
Mike Kruse raises an issue that hits close to home. There are many times when I have wanted to state forcefully "We are NOT a business; We are a community of faith!"
Mike's article goes into some detail about what "family" was in the context of the early Church, and what it is today -- and how there are key differences.
His resolution of what may be a false dichotomy between business and family has given me considerable food for thought:
"...A church is a family devoted to a business (or mission.) Lose either the family or business aspects and you have a significant distortion of Paul’s metaphor for church...."
Go ahead and read Mike's whole article.