Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pushing Onward...

If the mainline church worked the way my childlike faith knows it can...

Seminary education for leaders around the world would be subsidized by the offering of the people and the only requirement would be a certain amount of years in service within church leadership after schooling is completed.

Future pastors would be required to participate in didactic therapeutic experiences alongside their theology training and spiritual formation experiences.  And a part of continuing education would include ongoing therapeutic processes for all clergy.

We would surround our clergy with respect, open communication, and a cooperative spirit...even when we disagree.  We would remember these amazingly gifted people, have feelings, real life to deal with, in-laws, marriages, children, illness, bills and everything else that accompanies being an adult in our culture.  I am amazed at the brashness of treatment I have witnessed (and sadly sometimes participated in) congregations direct towards pastors.  It’s plain mean spirited.

Funding allocated to the larger church structures (districts, conferences, jurisdictions in the denomination my church is affiliated with) would be used primarily for a clergy leader, necessary managerial staff, a lawyer, and a human resources person.  Employee compensation, reviews, and hiring/letting go of employees should not rest on a volunteer leader within each congregation alone.  Churches should have professional advice available to them at all times.  Period.  And they should be held to the same legal standards companies in the secular job market are.

If we were able to make these things happen, our churches would be healthier communities, and in turn our impact with the world might be more effective.  

And now I lay down my ax...I’m not fueled with righteous indignation anymore.  Now I see a clear path to begin walking down.  We can make these changes within the church.  One step at a time.  

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