I remember working in a bureaucratic environment, and it was a great experience as well as beneficial to shaping me. Bureaucratic theory was developed by management guru Max Weber, a German sociologist and intellect. During the explosion of the industrial revolution, Weber saw a need for job specification, management by rule to regulate and systematize activity, and in short, make the machine efficient. Bureaucracies, today, carry a very negative connotation and with good reason. They are seen, because they've earned it, as obstacles rather than creators of efficiency. They are viewed, with skepticism, as being concerned with the box rather than the possibilities of being out of the box.
What I learned is that a bureaucracy is something to be navigated like a maze. I learned the maze is negotiable, depending on who is at the point in the maze where you find yourself. If that point doesn't give, you move to another point in the maze to see if that one gives. It requires patience, thought, and knowing what you are seeking, and as a leader in development, it helped shape me.
The church, as an organization, is bureaucratic whether it wants to admit it or not. We have rules and structures in place that are meant to be followed in order to have a path or paths to planning and implementing ministries and activities that fit within the scope of who and what we are. Like other bureaucracies, they face the same kinds of criticism. In short, are we responsive or are we more concerned about the rules?
The first thing we need to do at a time like that is simple, ask who is God? Sometimes we assume the role of God through our own thinking and our institutional rules and processes, and we forget to seek God's guidance and wisdom (or refuse to). In Exodus 20, the Israelites see "thunder nd flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, and the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, 'You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.'" Translation, "we are in our comfort zone and God frightens us. You talk to us Moses, we know you. God scares us." Moses answers wisely, "Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin."
We pray that when God tests us, we seek him by bowing to our knees and pray for his will to be done. We pray that we not hide behind the comfort of our surroundings, but rather out of fear, turn to God because of the love and trust he offers us.
Hope Men's Ministry