Monday, March 14, 2011

The Church vs. the Institution

Insight that rises from people with genuine experience of ministry in the day-to-day world of parish communities is worth much.  There is too little platform for this and too much its opposite.  Personally, my congregation and I have grown weary of hearing about the business of Church.  Here in the Diocese of Texas, none of our bishops practiced parish ministry for an appreciable length of time before joining the business center at the diocesan offices, then going on to be elected bishop or bishop suffragan.  I suspect that in the case of almost any bishop anywhere a lack of ground-level front-line experience affects negatively the ability of bishops to set an inspiring and relevant tone in their respective dioceses, as I know it does here.  There is only so much that leaders trying to set the tone can say about the costs of running the diocese, and about the theory of the costs of running a parish, without all of us realizing that they are consumed with a business model for the Church.