CTA: Experience Talks Back to Power

Faithful laborers in the UMC are expressing many concerns about the “Call to Action” report. These concerns include the legitimacy of its proponents, its implementation, and its potential fallout.

One woman wrote:

I hope you and others bring enough light in on this matter to keep it rational and realistic, especially when it comes to the balance of power and worth.

With all due respect to bishops and other high placed leaders and the honest effort they put into their jobs, they are no better performing in relationship to this culture than the clergy, congregations and laity they call underperforming.  By what standard??  How can leaders call themselves good when they are not leading in ways that help their followers succeed?  I taught school 30 years, and if my pupils did not succeed I felt it reflected more on my performance as a teacher than on them.

In 50 years of experience as a United Methodist I feel the greatest weakness in our church is that high placed persons talk among themselves, read the same books, look for answers in high profile secular material, and discount the wisdom in the way vast numbers of laity keep the faith. I speak of a systemic thing, not meaning to criticize any one person for his/her often heroic efforts. I just think our top leaders need to have a new vision of how clergy and laity relate in local fellowship and to the tasks of everyday life before they formulate their ideas of “underperforming,” and begin to act on them.

A pastor emailed and said:

I’ve been Rethinking the Church for a long time (Rethink Church is on the front of the UMC calendar) and my Call to Action is to retire.

I know from the perspective of those who are making decisions that I am one of their “ineffective pastors” so it is time for me to make one of three choices; lead, follow, or get out of the way.

I wish them well and pray the unintended consequences of their choices will not bring harm to those who have only “committed the sin” of growing old.

(pause) I don’t have anything to add to their comments.

[To see a complete list of Call to Action posts, click here.]

About Ron Goetz

My first wife used to say, "There's nothing so sacred that Ron won't pick it apart." My desire to be a pastor -- that was a temperamental mismatch. She was so patient. If my birth mother had lived somewhere else, maybe I would've become a cold case detective. But I would have had to be J instead of a P, I think. And that mid-life reevaluation, starting adolescence as a GARB fundamentalist and transitioning to a non-theist, that gave me an unusual skill set.
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1 Response to CTA: Experience Talks Back to Power

  1. Pingback: One lay leader’s take on Call to Action | John Meunier

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