Friday, 24 February 2017

Four ways to run a denominationally structured church

1 Decisions taken at grassroots level. The people own what is happening. Can be wonderful, but can be very fraught when there is disagreement. 

2 Decisions imposed from above. Effective in stopping local divisions, but can leave people disenfranchised and, as a result, less involved and committed. 

3 A hybrid of the above, where localised decision-making and even the development of distinct decision-making structures is encouraged, but where big decisions come from above. This can be seriously horrid, especially when there is much made of local/individual consultation which then appears to be ignored/ridden over in subsequent HQ decisions. 

4 The hybrid as mentioned, but with leaks and gossiping from people who, through working at the HQ, are aware in advance of top-down decisions. The gossipers/leakers are typically far less personally affected by the decisions than are those who are kept in the dark, who then hear (sometimes unwelcome) news in the least pastorally sensitive and nuanced way possible.


If you want a serious and miserable stink, I recommend 4.