Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Stated Clerk’s Top 10 Evaluation (cont.)

“Financial and Organizational Concerns” are listed as one of the Stated Clerk’s top ten priorities for the upcoming General Assembly. This should be an important issue for the Assembly. What can the Assembly do? What changes can they make? What kinds of system wide changes can be implemented?

My guess is that little or nothing of significance will happen in this area. Let’s begin by looking at the financial side of the problem. The projected membership losses for the denomination will ensure that there are less $$$ unless changes are made. Less people in the denomination = less people giving to the denomination. The outcomes of the PUP Task report and the G-6.0106b overtures could also significantly impact the finances of the denomination. The only way to change the financial picture of the PCUSA would be to have a complete paradigm shift on how we function as one manifestation of the Body of Christ and how we go about ministry. This leads us directly to “organizational concerns.”

The “organization” of the PCUSA has not significantly changed in ages and ages. People over 60 are very comfortable with the organizational style of the denomination. There are denominational staff persons and elected delegates that make the decisions. To be a denomination in the 21st century demands us to re-think the way we are organized. The denomination needs to be divided into two main sections: congregational development and everything else. This organizational shift needs to be in place for the next fifteen years. The vast majority of the focus needs to be on developing healthy, vital congregations. Failure in this task means that there will still be some big, vital churches but as a denomination we will be irrelevant. We need to start 1500 – 2000 new churches during that period. Most of these churches need to be geared to reach the people between the ages of 18 and 30. The new churches need to meet in coffee shops, shopping centers and other non-traditional settings. We have to embrace multiple styles of worship. All-in-all, we need to totally re-think what it means to be a denomination.

1 Comments:

At 9:51 AM , Blogger Classical Presbyterian said...

For anyone who still looks "to the top" for leadership, this is the perfect example of what we've been saying all these years: The out of touch leaders in Louisville are leading us to ruin.

Great series of posts!

 

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