Continuing from Part 1:

Possible reasons for what could charitably be dubbed an “abysmal failure” of the Every Member A Minister (EMAM) campaign range from A to Z.  The most obvious was the most overlooked: building codes.

No building can stand on a weak or faulty foundation.  In the case of the “all-church” EMAM campaign, the real foundation wasn’t “all” or “every” anything.  It was based on a top-down, totem-pole model of “church” in which a small, insulated  group of autocrats imposed their vision and plan on everyone else.


There was no discussion.  No congregational consensus.  “Feet on the ground” folks – the “grassroots backbone” of the church – were never consulted.  Their opinions, frustrations, issues, and input weren’t solicited.  “Regular folks” weren’t part of the planning process, strategizing or implementation.  In a nutshell, Boulder Creek Community’s “building code” was: “This is what we, the leadership, think should go on here, and this is how you’re going to do it.”  In short, “regular folks” were expected to take ownership of a campaign that wasn’t theirs.


Is it any wonder so few responded?  That EMAM failed to connect with passion, gifting, calling?

‘Filled’ and Fall Out

Additionally, several people expressed frustration with the “already filled” mentality that effectively prevented them from exercising their gifts or pursuing their passion within the institutional context in any meaningful way (some left the church as a result).  Those gifted in teaching, preaching, and leadership were told, explicitly or implicitly, that they need not apply.  Those spots were already filled by the pastor and board members, thank you very much (none were willing to step aside so others could step up).

The fall-out was predictable.  Those with demonstrable expertise in “already filled” areas felt stifled and stymied within a structure where control and hierarchy ruled the day. One person who wished to remain anonymous commented, “The biggest obstacle to making EMAM work wasn’t a lack of information or motivation.  It was a pastor and board that wouldn’t or couldn’t get out of the way and let people serve and minister the way God called them to.”

Stay tuned for Part 3:  Locked Doors, Baskin Robbins and What Ifs?