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Love vs. Management

“Institutions need control to function; people need love to grow.”

That’s the great dilemma in this chapter and in church history. Once we commit ourselves to an institutional framework we have to use human management controls to keep order. Families, however, don’t use institutional controls, but the power of love and respect. Where it exists families thrive; where it does not they disintegrate. If you’ve never seen how an environment of mutual love and respect functions, it is probably hard to imagine. Maybe this will help.

How does a highly managed system subvert love and respect?

And, how does love and respect deal with those who seek to subvert the environment of love?

Thoughts on either one of those?

I could see this playing out in a work place where the boss tells people to do what he says or else they might get fired…

I have also seen where loving people help others learn their place and role in the grand scheme of things, and when the person learns in a loving environment, it plays out very nicely.

Unfortunately it can often seem like the IC system tends to get people to go the way of the corporate boss by demanding compliance or else they tell the non-conformist that they need to go. I guess it also fits with the person who is a squeaky wheel, the person that asks too many questions, or the person who questions the status quo or questions why the status quo needs to stay in place.

The company boss needs to make sure everything keeps working so they can get out a product or service to sell to customers… but the problem is that the church should be all about loving people. It shouldn’t be about living like you’re in a forced labor camp or a factory of slaves who’s lives are a dread, a drudgery, and pure misery.

One system is to enjoy peoples presence and enjoy loving friendships with others, but the other is there to use people for their own gain and profit.

This isn’t a perfect picture of every job environment, but it is my attempt at a general example to show the flaws of a demanding IC leadership model, that demands more self-effort by way of promoting guilt based religious obligation.

Bailey, NC

It reminds me of how I run my classroom vs how some I know do. I hear teachers yelling non-stop around me and the students hate being there. I rarely raise my voice but lead a classroom of respect. If I have a problem I speak privately to student. My students know I love them and if they misbehave they sometimes immediately feel badly for disappointing me. I take time to really get to know them. They are my kids not just for the school year but forever. Ha.


A highly managed system subverts love and respect by putting the focus on performance, not relationship. The more you do, the more loved and respected you are. And so follows, the less you do, the less loved and respected you are. Love and respect then become a function of doing, not being.

God loves and respects us simply because we are His creation. We can’t do nothing more, or nothing less, to earn His love and respect. If we perform well, or perform badly, we are loved and respected just the same. Grace allows us to perform well regardless of God’s unending love and respect for us, otherwise, all of us would just go completely headlong into sin. And that is what the institutions are so desperately trying to control, not trying to promote love and respect.


In a highly managed system there are man-made rules, and these rules set precedence above love. Love and respect are neglected and ignored. Therefore, love and respect is not the most important factor. When love and respect are the rule - sort-of speak - than people who try to subvert that environment are still loved and they are either drawn to it or eventually go their own way. Personally, I feel, I could only do this by knowing and experiencing the Father’s love for me.