Yesterday, I posted a response to Tim Schmoyer’s blog post about “Why Parents Outsource Their Teen’s Spiritual Formation”. I did some brief research on why companies outsource, and here is one list:
* Reduce and control operating costs
* Improve company focus
* Gain access to world class capabilities
* Free internal resources for other purposes
* A function is time consuming to manage or is out of control
* Insufficient resources are available internally
* Share risks with a partner company
Pretty straightforward. As many of these are similar, I’ll combine them.
When parents outsource spiritual formation of teens:
* Reduce and Control Operating Costs/A function is time consuming to manage or is out of control: It costs them less, in terms of investment. Not in money, but in TIME..which, at this point, is the most important thing. Spiritual formation is all about time, and many families simply neither have, nor make, the time.
* Improve company focus/Free internal resources for other purposes: Families are free to spend their time on other things, perhaps those things are valid (employment, school, etc), perhaps they are not.
* Gain access to world class capabilities/Insufficient resources are available internally: Some churches and ministries are absolute machines. The amount of material available is incredible. As a parent, I (personally, no sarcasm intended) do not have the TIME (see #1) to pour through it all and determine what I might use to disciple my families.
* Share risks with a partner company: The word “partner” here is incredible. It implies a relationship…that the two parties are working together.
Now, each of the above can be completely legitimate things. Here’s where my cynicism comes out…
* Reduce and Control Operating Costs/A function is time consuming to manage or is out of control: Question: Is there anything more important than passing on the faith to our children?
* Improve company focus/Free internal resources for other purposes: Question: Is there anything more important that passing on the faith to our children? I mean, I want my children to to grow up and be productive members of society. But, what good is it to gain the world and forfeit their souls?
* Gain access to world class capabilities/Insufficient resources are available internally: Do we view the Bible as insufficient? Is that why we use curriculum?
* Share risks with a partner company: I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard a parent complain about “if my church’s youth ministry only did “x”…” Let’s be honest. Outsourcing gives us someone to blame.
The outsourcing takes place because we allow them to.
There are benefits, both legitimate and illegitimate, to outsourcing.
Tomorrow, let’s talk “partnership.”
Join the conversation!