The Changing Environment
This statement is true for most any organization. If an organization wants to succeed, they need visionary leadership who see the external changes coming and prepare the internal structure in anticipation of the changes. This has been especially true of the church in the past decade or so. The external culture is shifting and changing all the time, and the church seems to always be internally reactive and unable to adapt quick enough. Because of this, the world sees us as irrelevent and out of touch. So whats the problem?
I believe for the most part the "Church" has grown accustomed to walking by sight and not by faith. We (They) have grown accustomed to seeing with natural eyes, using their own intellect, and relying on their own abilities. The Holy Spirit is well aware of every detail of the history of mankind from eternity past to eternity future. He is never surprised by the changing external environment. If the church would allow Jesus Christ to truly be the central focus and head, then His leadership would most certainly prove to be proactive and timely to meet the needs of the dying world around us. Instead we make people the central focus and we react as they react. We respond to needs and changes in the external environment rather than responding in obedience to the voice of our Shepherd.
The external environment will change faster than the internal environment unless we build that environment on Jesus Christ who never changes. He will meet every need and position His church to respond to every external situation.