In a recent article for Focal Point, a publication of Denver Seminary, Dr. Haddon Robinson gave an illustration regarding organizations and dead horses. One bit of wisdom addressed to organizations is "When the horse you are riding dies, dismount." That sounds like keen insight into the obvious. Unfortunately, many organizations refuse to embrace it. Writer Karen Peterson came up with some alternative strategies that organizations often use to deal with the problem of dead horses.
Change riders (If you can't do the job of riding this horse we'll find someone who can!).
Appoint a committee to study the horse (After all, we mustn't rush to judgment. Perhaps the horse isn't really dead, but sleeping).
Attend a seminar to increase riding ability (When in doubt, blame the rider and question his abilities).
Get a stronger whip (even if this doesn't motivate the horse, it will make the rider feel better!).
Enroll in a seminar to learn how others ride dead horses (Perhaps if you improve your technique no one will notice that you lack substance).
When there is nothing else to do, remember, the time honored wisdom of desperate organizations: "No horse is too dead to beat!"
How do you treat a dead horse organization? What parts of your ministry are dead?