“If you don’t know why what is working works, you won’t know how to fix it when it breaks.” I’ve been stewing on this since Andy Stanley said this at the Catalyst conference this year—and set about learning why the things that work in my life and ministry work.

Though Andy didn’t mention the reciprocal, I’ve observed it to be true: If we don’t know why what is broken is broken, we won’t know how to fix it—or keep it from breaking again. A lot of churches think, when they struggle, if they just do this new thing or that new thing, it will fix what ails them. The real problem isn’t what they aren’t doing, it’s what they are doing. But, because they don’t recognize that it’s broken or why it’s broken, it will go unfixed. Here are some examples: