I was introduced to this phrase coined by Mark Buchanan. You can read his article here. It refers to the story of Jesus healing the paralized man in Mark 2:1-12. Unfortunately, I am somewhat familiar with this syndrome. Buchanan defines it as:
Roof-tile Syndrome is when we are so caught up in the preaching of Jesus, we turn our backs to the needs of those still outside the building. We become barriers and not gateways. It's when we care more about keeping things intact than about restoring lives that are shattered. It's when we're more upset when stuff gets broken than excited when the broken are mended. It's when church gets reduced to the preaching of Jesus so that we fail to notice that we're seeing very little of the forgiveness and healing of Jesus. It is when we are so fearful about upsetting the religious folk (or homeowners) in our midst that we stop taking risks to get people to Jesus.I have attended churches with this syndrome. And, of course, if you expand the definition a little, you not only see it in churches but in business, familes -- life in general.
Why is this? Because we always seem to forget that God is BIG and I am not. It is not about me.
Over the last 20 years, I have seen Roof Tile Syndrome:
- In a church that had people unwilling to go one Sunday because there was no message, just music.
- In a company that was trying to change the culture (in my opinion, for the better) but people would need to learn new job skills.
- In families who are unwilling to accept the childrens new husbands or wives.