No solid ground yetby Martin Lehman, Goshen, Ind.
I think it was Lyle Schaller who planted in my mind the idea that change agents should not tear down the old house before living in the new house for a time. I accept that advice as wise and affirm the back page editorial (June 11) that suggests an aggregate board instead of the radical restructuring being tested by the Mennonite Church.
As I read and listen it seems apparent that the church has not reached a satisfying consensus. That in itself suggests caution. In the box on the editorial page, the last paragraph reports that the Executive Board and its top staff have said they may not have the expertise to be and lead the kind of integrated board they envision. The hesitancy indicates that the Executive Board and staff may have the good sense to resign, if their plan for restructure is implemented.
However, another matter could be more worrisome. Motives can be suspect when those at the top of an organizational pyramid hastily gather authority unto themselves. Doubts could be dispelled if it became clear that the top denominational executives will not benefit from the restructuring they propose.
Many years ago, after watching Mennonites struggle with decision-making for a day in Miami, a Haitian said that he had learned something about Mennonites. They move slowly, he said, but when they put their foot down it is on solid ground. The denomination has not yet found solid ground for the next step forward.
Associated Issue: Rest for the soul - June 17, 2008
Associated Article: Relationships, behaviors, organization
- Urgency and patience
- A wedding registry with the earth in mind
- Passionate (not angry) peacemakers
- The wounds of war
- May peace prevail
News stories, digests and Meno Acontecer
- Single family housing model challenged
- Bluffton bus crash blamed on signage
- MCC board confronts ‘dissatisfaction’
- Churches connect with Ghana, Honduras
- Three churches to leave their conferences
- All-boards meeting looks at Executive Board proposal
- Cross-cultural partnership for Lancaster churches
- Dream happens for Hispanic church plant
- Extraordinary every day
- Small summit in Canada
- About waterboarding, Mr. President
- Many gifts, many people