The Failure in Our Systems

Earlier this year I received a letter in the mail saying my kids’ health insurance had been cancelled. Apparently, I was sent a renewal letter in the mail that I never returned. What took place over the next six months was probably the most frustrating experience of my life. There’s no way I’ll be able to communicate it fully in words, but I’ll try to give you an idea.

On my initial call, I let them know I had moved towards the end of last year, and I didn’t recall ever receiving a renewal letter at my new house. They let me know my kids’ no longer had insurance and I could either submit an appeal or fill out a renewal application. I submitted the appeal and waited.

Six weeks later, I called back to check the status of my appeal and was told they had no information for me.  I could continue to wait or I could reapply. I reapplied and was told I would need to submit some other documents to finish the application. I submitted the documents and waited.

Six weeks later, I called back and was told they still had no information about my appeal or my reapplication. Keep in mind, each time I called I would be asked for names, social security numbers, address, phone number, etc. before I was transferred to the next person who would have to ask me for the same exact information. On each call I would end up being transferred three to four times and have to go through this over and over again.

This process went on for months, I asked to speak with managers, and no one ever knew anything. During this time my kids both got sick with flu and strep throat, so we paid out of pocket for doctor visits and medicine. Weekly my wife was telling me to find a solution and quickly.

One day I managed to speak to a gentleman who looked at my account and noticed I didn’t send in any medical information from the previous year. I told him I didn’t have any to report, and he said to write a letter stating that. I wrote the letter and to my amazement my application was approved.

My insurance was held up for months because I didn’t submit a letter saying I had nothing to submit.

I share that story for two reasons: one, to share my pain, and two, to ask you what’s holding up things at your church? What’s getting in the way? What hoops are people having to jump through that are entirely unnecessary?

Do people have to go through a 3-week class before they can volunteer?

Do you have to wait for a committee to give you options on changing out the carpet?

Does it take a congregational vote to decide on adding another service so you can reach more people?

It’s easy to see the failures in someone else’s system and structure, but the churches you and I lead are often just as guilty. I would encourage you to step back and take an honest look at what you’re doing that’s making it harder for people to meet Jesus.

What initially comes to your mind? Can you change it? If not, why not? Leave a comment and let us know. While you’re here, make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.

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