Where on earth did we get the notion that “efficiency” is a Christian virtue? There’s a place for it, of course, and there’s no virtue in inefficiency for its own sake. But you’d have a very hard time getting from the teaching of Jesus and the life of the early church to an advocacy for efficiency.
For example, what is Jesus teaching about evangelism? It’s like this he says. A farmer went out to sow seed… What characterizes the sower is inefficiency. He scatters everywhere, without thought to what will ‘work’. And who is ‘the greatest’ in the Kingdom of God? Not the one who is best able to get things done. A child. The least and lowest. What does Jesus tell the rich man who wants to follow him? Not ‘invest what you have wisely so that we can make sensible use of the resources you bring’. He says, “Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor…THEN come and follow me”. And don’t forget those parables in which Jesus pictures the pattern of God’s love. You know the ones, about things that are lost. A man with 100 sheep loses one, and then leaves the 99 and to pick up the missing one. A father with two sons, one of whom is dutiful and does all that he should, the other who is a scoundrel and a waster. The father loves the second as much as the first. Where’s the efficiency in that. A vineyard owner hires people throughout the day, and in the end pays all a day’s wages. fair? Efficient? Certainly not! Then there’s the woman who is commended for wasting a jar of expensive perfume in a single act of extravagant worship.
And when the apostles are looking for a replacement for Judas, they start on the right track, drawing up a shortlist of people. But then they forget all about proper ‘human resources’ procedures and draw lots for who should get the job!
‘Management’ has a place. It does. But its role is servant of the church, not master. The techniques and insights it offers can be useful, but they are not value-free and beyond theological critique.