Excerpt from Chapter 2

In most churches you’ll find three kinds of mice that create problems for cats (the church members) and cat herders (the church leaders).

  • The first kind of mouse is a rodent that can be eradicated by adopting a church cat of the feline variety from your local animal shelter or else by getting a pest control contract with Orkin. Rodents rarely get in the way of cat herding.
  • The second kind of mouse is a fast breeder, has a voracious appetite, and the rascal creates devilish distractions wherever it’s found. Indeed, this mouse is so notorious for its not-so-funny business that a collective of them are not called a pack or a herd of mice … they’re called a mischief of mice. In the church, each mouse is someone’s idea or vision or preference for how the church ought to do things. Every congregational cat has a favorite pet mouse (or two!) and they’ll do everything in their power to get other cats to help chase it with them. The problem is, these mice … these ideas, visions, and preferences … take on lives of their own whenever they’re let loose. And whenever there’s a mischief of church mice, there are cats chasing them every which way.
  • The RatMost churches have a couple of the third kind of mice skulking around. They’re the church rats. Okay, technically they’re not mice, but when it comes to scuttling the mission and the good work of the church these vermin pop up in the most inconvenient places at the most inconvenient times. Church rats were once church cats (church leaders or members) who became so consumed by their own “good ideas,” their pet mice take over and the church cats mutate into church rats. What’s worse, these rats grow so big and can be so vicious that they’ll chase even the most well-prepared cat down the hall and out of the church door. These rats have been variously called church bullies or church terrorists.