Strangling Termites

An Alabama termite inspector told me that Alabama has three termite colonies per acre. And that a termite can travel up to a quarter mile to find moist wood – it’s only necessary source of food, water and wood. And termites are devastating – a colony can eat over 10 pounds of wood in a year. The cost of replacing that wood can be huge.

We no longer use the chemical DDT to kill termites; instead, one solution is a chemical which inhibits termites from molting. A termite will molt several times in its life as it grows, much like a crab. If a termite can’t molt, it will grow within the existing shell but then it will strangle itself because of the small shell.

I’ve seen churches like that. They have outgrown their current shell but they are unwilling to change/molt. They feel that what worked decades ago should continue to work. Or that the buildings don’t need any updating because they look just fine. Or members don’t realize that church staff today must do things very differently than in prior years. These churches are strangling themselves within their own structures. While the world around them changes, they don’t.

Just like termites adapt to meet their future needs (as part of their life cycle), churches must be willing to explore changes they may need to make and then intentionally decide how they’ll adapt. The saying “change or die” applies quite aptly to termites. It also applies to a lot of churches. Too many are willing to die. There is no need for that – churches don’t need to embrace all changes, but they must be strategic about what they will do to help them survive.


Lead On!