People of Color in Leadership Positions

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Does the recommendation of the Board of Trustees about future hires of the CRC’s senior leadership ensure greater diversity or does it set us up for another failure?

The Board of Trustees recommends that synod “endorse the Diversity in Leadership Planning Group report…” (Agenda, p. 37), a report that recommends that “all future hires will be made in accordance with the CRCNA’s diversity objectives and its goal of 25 percent racial minority leaders in CRCNA positions of senior leadership…” (Agenda, p. 57).

Because people of color, who comprise approximately 10% of our membership, were not well incorporated into leadership positions, Synod 1995 encouraged “boards, agencies, and itself and future synods to include in their committees persons who reflect the ethnic, gender and racial diversity of our denomination…on a particular matter to be studied (Acts of Synod 1995, p. 656). Synod also decided to include “up to seven members from the various ethnic communities in the CRC to serve as advisors to synod…” (Acts of Synod 1995, p. 694).

Synod 2005 reviewed the practice of appointing ethnic advisers and encouraged classes:

a.  “to include at least one ethnic minority person in its synodical delegation beginning with Synod 2006.”

b.  “to develop a strategy to intentionally incorporate ethnic minorities into the life and government of the local church and broader assemblies and submit their plan to the BOT by March 15, 2007 (Acts of Synod 2005, p. 748 & 755).

Synod also instructed “the Board of Trustees…to report in the annual Agenda for Synod, and to make recommendations if necessary, on the denomination’s progress in attaining its goal of at least one ethnic minority synodical delegate from each classis and on the denomination’s progress in incorporating ethnic minorities on denominational boards (Acts of Synod 2005, p. 756).

This year’s Agenda is first to report on our progress in incorporating ethnic minorities and women on denominational boards. It reports “a decrease of five women and a decrease of four persons of color on the boards over the previous year (p. 26).” No Agenda has ever reported on our progress in attaining our goal of at least one ethnic minority synodical delegate from each classis, but we have room to improve. At Synod 2010 there were less than a dozen ethnic minority delegates, four of them from Pacific Hanmi, our Korean classis. This year twenty-one are expected (Agenda, p. 27).

The Board of Trustees has made no recommendations on these matters, and our Race Relations office has not reminded our classes about this goal as classes gather to elect their synodical delegates. I wonder how many classes submitted their plan to “intentionally incorporate ethnic minorities…” by the March 2007 deadline.

The goal of a person of color from each classis would mean that 25% of the delegates would be people of color, the same percentage now being proposed for the senior leadership of our denomination. Was that goal too aggressive? Is the current goal too aggressive? Could our denominational leadership have better assisted us in attaining our previous goal? Does this reflect a broader challenge, namely that it’s one thing to declare something at synod and quite another to put feet on it in the churches?

One encouraging sign in this area is the recent appointment of Rev. Moses Chung, a Korean pastor, as the director of Home Missions.  

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Good questions posed.  I served as a delegate for Classis GLA the past two synods.  What I realized more than ever is how ethnic participation at synod depends on what happens at the classical level and in particular what happens at the one meeting where delegates are elected.  A couple of times this meeting has snuck up on us.  We go around the room and ask "who is available to go to synod?"  At that point you don't vote for somebody who's not there.  It may be at that particular meeting some of the ethnic elders or pastors are not present or maybe the ones that are there are not available to go.  You end up voting for who is left, usually some of the more regular and involved people at classis.  I know each classis is different, but in ours there is not a long line of folks anxiously waiting to go to synod.  

If this is an issue for us, one of the most diverse classis in the denomination, I imagine for others it's even more of a challenge. It takes work.  To prevent the haphazard election by default we have tried a couple of things.  First, prior to the meeting the clerk asks everyone if they are willing and available for synod.  All available names are printed out.  That way, if for some reason you are not at the meeting you can still get elected.  Then before the election the classis is reminded that since we are one of the more diverse classis we should send a diverse delegation.  This does help the voting process but it requires intentionality.  

I am not the stated clerk, but I wonder if folks from 2850 are on the phone with the clerks reminding them of how important having a good process leading up to the election is.  Even the simple reminder before the vote plays a role.

 

 

 

I still think using racial color diversity as a determinator or substitute for cultural or ethnic diversity is a primitive and unchristian way of thinking.   Color is obvious, but not the most significant.   Nor is it the best indicator of diversity.    If you have a bunch of black doctors and accountants in your church,  but cannot reach out to the black mechanics, janitors, and the "yellow" waitresses and cleaning staff, then you have a phony picture of what it means to be diverse.  If you have some black or "colored" folk in leadership, but can't find a way to include the mexican immigrants, or the japanese immigrants, or the russian or arab immigrants, and if the Italians, Hungarians and Finnish people are culturally uncomfortable, then you only look good on the outside.   You've then only overcome a barrier in a "worldly" culturally acceptable manner.  

 

The reason there are more ethnic minority delegates from the Korean churches, is probably because there are more CRC Koreans.  What ethnicities did the other eight minority delegates come from, and are they roughly representative of the ethnicities of the crc?  

And..... perhaps not just 35%, but all people in leadership should be people of color, since why in the world would we want "colorless" people in leadership positions?    just funnin...  :o) 

Participant

Quotas are a setup for failure and a more subtle kind of injustice; this politically correct drive reflects the CRC leadership's self-punishing anxiety more than it reflects bibilical teaching regarding race and spiritual gifts--the latter being the qualification for leadership, not racial quotas. But there are bigger, systemic problems afoot. There is an increasing rift bewteen the BOT and the churches, the agencies and the congregations. Transparency is gone, communication is vague and veiled. What, for example, is going on with these high-profile resignations at 2850 [translation: the denominational headquarters]? Why are the churches kept in the dark? Do we forget that the CRC belongs to the churches, and not vice-versa? As someone who was evangelized into the CRC, my greatest interest in the leadership of home missions is not what ethnic background that person has, but what that person's vision and philosophy of church growth are, and I might even dare to hope that the person has some appreciation for the Reformed faith, which in my judgment has been lacking in that agence for the past few decades. Frankly, such an appreciation might be more easy to find among the Korean congregations, but that's still beside the point. I think many CRC members will find something vaguely unjust and wrong about setting up racial quotas in the church of Christ, in which there is no male or female, Jew or Greek.

This quota proposal is a major problem waiting to happen.  I just learned this morning that the BTGMI already is asking Synod to reject this plan, and I am glad for that. 

Quotas or affirmative action, or whatever else you want to call it are not gospel but a form of law -- it's works-based. If we are serious about addressing the problem of a lack of diversity (and I believe that it is a problem that should be addressed) the way to do so is not by arbitrary percentages or regulations.  This only addresses the symptoms, not the root problem.  Change happens as the gospel unfolds in our hearts.  When Peter was struggling with his own racism against the gentile Christians, Paul told him that he had "forgotten the gospel."  Not -- "Peter, you don't have enough minorities working with you." or "Peter, don't be a racist; go and build bridges to the Gentiles."  Paul told him to remember the gospel.  Obviously, by remembering, Paul didn't mean, "go back in history, and remind yourself of these historical facts," but rather, "Peter, take the gosepl to heart again!  Believe what it means!"  Now, how do we facilitate that?  That's a little harder to "do."  It certainly involves preaching.  As our hearts are changed by the good news that Christ has brought together those who were near and those who were far off, "diverstiy" will begin to happen.

Yeah, but Paul's rebuke demanded that Peter actually DO SOMETHING to change the status quo. We can talk all nicey nicey and misapply Gal. 3:26, but at some point we need to acknowledge that there are different ethnicities in the CRC and they don't all see the world through the Dutch CRC lens.

Yes, setting goals has the potential, probability even, of failure. But not setting goals means that we don't really care and we won't work on it (but we will talk about it, because that's what we're good at.)

Mike, who is feeling a bit synical today. ;) 

Participant

Mike, we all have those days.

But "misapplying" Galatians 3:26? Really? I think that's a matter of perspective. Certainly the vision that Paul has in mind is one that transcends race, ethnicity, and gender based on the gospel.

And Blacketer is neither Frisian nor Dutch.

The question is what to do, and whether setting quotas is a good way to do it. We're obsessed, in my observation, with questions of racial quotas because we've lost our sense of identity, which centers not around ethnicity but a particular way of living out the gospel called the Reformed tradition. Instead of casting a vision of how the CRC is going to make disciples, we wring our hands about the composition of boards and misdirect our attention to adopting new confessions, even though we hardly remember the old ones.

Hi Randy, your statement "Instead of casting a vision of how the CRC is going to make disciples..." caught my attention - and am very grateful you wrote it. I'm also thankful for the issues already raised here about the report before Synod 2011 for diversity in the CRC leadership. I agree with you that instead of us struggling over a quota and various ways of monitoring/achieving/administering such, I believe it would be more God-honoring and church-edifying if we focused our passion, unity, and resources towards intentionally making disciples of Jesus Christ in both majority- and minority-culture congregations and communities. In a nutshell, if we had more maturing and reproducing disciples of Jesus Christ in the CRC, we would have a large pool of Christlike servant leaders who could ably and humbly fill leadership roles in the CRC. For about three years, our Lord used His limited time on earth and worked out the strategy for building His Church: teach, train, motivate, rebuke, challenge, and assure a small group of very ordinary people turned disciples/servant-leaders. When those men and women got to intimately know the Lord's heart and purpose, they followed and committed to serve Him and His Church. The Lord made sure that they were first transformed and shaped in His likeness before the systems and procedures of governance and administration were set up for a growing number of 1st century believers.

I won't be surprised if any 'person of color' including those who already had served in classical and denominational tasks would feel uneasy (perhaps even negatively) to know they're selected to a leadership role ONLY because a quota needs to be filled - and not because of his/her heart, knowledge, and competencies. If we had droves of discipled servant-leaders of all colors, gender, and ages in the CRC family, a quota or any other well-meaninged and well-thought ways of institutionalizing diversity in leadership positions would be unnecessary. I pray that Synod 2011 and all of us in our beloved CRC will be enabled by the Holy Spirit to agree and follow how the Lord Jesus discipled and commissioned His start-up servant-leaders. They were a small start-up ragtag group, clearly imperfect and rejects in the world's standards. We know this now: Jesus discipled them. Their spiritual and leadership depth, maturity, unity, sacrifice, and pure commitment to Christ's purpose should jolt all of us from ideas and processes that tend to move us away from the Lord's simple yet powerful command: "Go and make disciples of all nations..."

Participant

Hey Fernando del Rosario...I would vote for you, whether or not we need a quota on minorities  ;)... or is your name just a clever disguise for a dutch white guy?!?!?    

 

Oh wait...it shouldn't matter... :)

No Bev, that's my real name as originally given by my parents. Not a cover for someone else. -:)

Am 100% born and raised in the Philippines and a part product of your CRWM work in that country through Rev. Maas (now deceased) and Elois Vanderbilt. Settled now in SF Bay Area, ordained as Ministry Associate in the CRC, used to be a church planter through CRHM, now stated clerk of Classis Central CA and parttime staff of the CRC Leadership Exchange. There, those credentials are an open book. If there are questions whether I'm a cover for some white person of European ethnicity, anyone can verify with Rev. Larry Fryling at Christ's Community Church in Hayward, CA. Or, you can click my personal info and photo somewhere here on the Network. When I post (rarely) on the Network, I do it earnestly and with the intent to be of help in our online conversations.

Now before I sound dead serious, let me just say how a few of us (on this forum) are truly (and thankfully) looking at this diversity report with good concern and love for Christ's church in the CRC. Example: I just learned this afternoon there's a classis calling for a special meeting next week to decide on an overture asking Synod 2011 to hear their deep concerns around the diversity report. May our delegates be one in honoring the Lord Jesus and strengthening the body's leadership that had regrettably been shaken recently.

Let me end with a thought: I wish to see more of my Southeast Asian and Pacific Islands CRC pastor-friends engaged in discourses like these. I know they are also concerned with the issues CRC faces as a denomination, in addition to their more immediate needs as emerging immigrant congregations. Since many of them may not be engaged here, I'll try to be a voice for them. Did you know that there must be at least 60 such churches in the US and Canada? These very different Asian people groups worship our Triune God just like you do: Cambodians, Chinese, Filipinos, Hmong, Indians, Indonesians, Karen, Koreans, Pakistanis, Samoans, Thais, and Vietnamese (I may have missed others). Their voices are little heard in the discourse but like you, we've been called by the Lord and we're here among you. Still I hope for the day when they will actively speak up. May their voices be heard and acted upon... binationally, multi-culturally, in a spiritual body that does not do things simply in compliance witih quotas or any form of legalized representaiton.

Participant

Bless your heart...  that's awesome...  Believe you me, I do not want to limit God...we've already done that way too much...  and I am desperate to do it His way...  not using man's understanding...  but with much prayer and fasting...  maybe the denomination sends out a call to every church to pray and fast specifically on a certain day...  even if it's only one meal, or a fast of TV or computer...there are lots of options here...   and that there are worship and prayer gatherings on that day at the church from 6-7am, and from 12-1pm, and from 7-8pm so most can at least make it to one of the times.  I would much rather see something like that, then implementing a human system to control the selection.   Jesus promises us that His Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us in all truth...The LORD of Hosts is wonderful and counsel and excellent in wisdom...  I hope I'm wrong, but it's possible the cessationist belief that was held by the Reformed tradition for so long, has hindered our "hearing" of the Holy Spirit...  LORD, help us to trust in You with all our hearts, and follow the direction You give us...  Your promise is when we acknowledge You, that You will direct us and make our paths straight....

kind of curious on what you are referring to re. the leadership being regrettably shaken though?

Bev, I was referring to the sudden, unCRC-like resignations of Jerry and Sandy - about which many of us in the trenches don't know the real behind-the-scene reasons/issues. Could it be this 'people of color' issue is aggravating leadership & political dynamics in our spiritual church body? Whatever the issue/s are, it's still regrettable to see these resignations occur so swiftly and so un-spiritually. (not sure if that's a correct adverbial form for it -:)

Participant

Thanks for responding...and being gracious with my sense of humor...   I love how God is connecting His body, crossing many traditional barriers between congregations, denominations, and nations...  and when it is done His way, we are in awe of how incredibly He orchestrates it... 

please keep me posted on the gatherings regarding this...  I would love to pray and fast in conjunction with them on behalf of those involved... 

Fernando, is there anything specific that makes you say "Could it be this 'people of color' issue is aggravating leadership & political dynamics in our spiritual church body?"

Am just wondering what's really behind the unCRC-like resignations at 2850 recently. Power play, personality clashes, or irreconcilable (aka, unChrist-like) differences of convictions about racial issues? If I were not thinking and praying properly, I would have ignored whatever it was and moved on elsewhere, that is outside the CRC. But the thing I'm most worried about is how these could be impacting our young adults, the next generation leaders. Instead of being inspired about a Christlike servant-leadership (Phil 2:6-10) among our leaders, they might be saying "so, the CRC is no different from what's happening outside the church, in government and private enterprises!" I still hope that even if this was their perception, they would instead be challenged and accept to focus and follow the pure servant-leadership example of the Lord Jesus. And that they would, instead of leaving the CRC, boldly step up and continue to be the kinds of next gen leaders the Lord wills them to be. Then of course, this should also apply to the adults among us many of whom may now have turned cynical, skeptical, or overly critical to the point of being insidiously destructive while remaining inside the church.

These may sound negative and defeatist. So let me close this by being reminded of what the Lord said, "I will build my church." Our beloved church family is the Lord's and He knows what's good, perfect and acceptable for all of us. I want to believe that our denominational leadership is being tested and purified by the Lord. And so I pray that all would humbly listen and follow the grace-driven voice of Him whose self-sacrifice redeemed us from and still teaching us how to deal with human-caused inequalities, His way. 

(the end... before this turns into a 45-minute sermon, or longer -:)

Fernando, you did more than wonder.  You led us in a specific direction when you said, '"Could it be this 'people of color' issue is aggravating leadership & political dynamics in our spiritual church body?"  That's why I asked if you had anything specific that made you say this.   It sounds as if you're playing the race card.

George, if I sounded like playing the race card, then I apologize. That was not my intent, but just the result of wondering aloud what could have happened. If you see my post as not helpful on this forum, please flag and remove it. Perfectly alright with me. Thanks for your caution. Well received.

Participant

I will confirm that He is purifying us, starting with leadership...  several insights I received earlier this year as I was praying specifically for the CRC were:   Malachi 3:3  He is purifying and purging us... and from How Firm a Foundation...  the dross to consume and His gold to refine...to keep our foundation firm... 

now in case someone infers that this is the 2 who have resigned...  I have no clue, only God knows the hearts...  I don't know them at all, but the reason the shake up in leadership caught my eye is because others that I pray with have shared that there will be a shift in leadership in the Body of Christ,  that those who are in leadership positions, but are not men and women of prayer (God does the shaking/purifying/purging, He knows the hearts), He will either help them become men and women of prayer, who have a close relationship with Jesus, or if they are unwilling, then they will be shifted out.

Now, we can all say...  "Well, I pray, of course I pray"...  How dare anyone imply that someone isn't a man or woman of prayer.   Every one gets to ask God for themselves, and watch for His response to you.   He loves to answer the prayer.  LORD, teach us to pray.    He prompted me to focus on prayer more through several dreams and a bloody casino (we're asking Him to make it a House of prayer for the tribe)...  talk about Him using something bad for good.  But through this prayer journey, I have re-discoverd His voice, how He speaks now one way, and then another, making the Word living and active in fresh ways, and that those "coincidences" are designed by Him, getting my attention.    I don't share this to brag, believe you me, I have been attacked for these testimonies...  however, that was one of the words He gave me early on in my rediscovery of His voice...   I will testify... from the Avalon song...

I know where I was before He taught me to pray.  and I know that my prayer time is now a delight instead of a duty... I love to linger in the secret place with Him (ps. 91.1 NKJV).   He is converting me from a Miss Martha to a Miss Mary.    and again, someone might respond, well we can't all be Miss Mary's, nothing will get done.   Not true.  In my Miss Martha days (and I love Miss Martha - she was so practical, industrious, diplomatic -  sound familiar?),  I don't remember ever leading someone to Jesus,  I hope I was instrumental in some peoples faith and I believe God used my weak efforts - but we worked hard, we were very involved in all the church programs, in leadership positions, but it was with some prayer, 0-15 minutes depending on the day, of here's my list LORD and then gotta run cuz there's lot to do.  But as I spend more time with Him, the conversations I get to have with Him and with others are amazing, I have had the privilege to lead people to Jesus...  I love to be in worship with Him, I don't care what style worship music...  When He's there with you and you are aware of Him, it doesn't matter, it can be a 1000 year old hymn (of course those are the good ones since they've endured) or a song that was just released last week...  I pray that everyone will have an incredible, beautiful relationship with Him.    That your faith will be a delight, not a duty. That all believers will experience Him in ways they have never sensed Him before.  That awareness of Him increases so you see little (and big) treasures from Him every day, little (serendipity type) signs that you are exactly where you are suppose to be at that moment.  These are Him...  I have been told they are not, but these experiences or whatever you want to call them are happening way too often to be random... and sometimes so statistically improbable, they can only be from God...  Now if I had only experienced one of these in my life, you might say that was chance, but I have experience at least one major impossible, beyond calculable event a year in the last several years including this year, and probably more often...  I would have to go back to my journals...

He has undone me more than once, in a terrible, beautiful way...  these stories are actually quite humorous now...  but several times I am crying my eyes out, in a public place without kleenex... and when I cry it's intense and everything pours forth - not pretty...  I had one time where the Holy Spirit prompted me..." You might want to get some kleenex before you go in."   and since i was in a snarky mood, I thought with a bad attitude, why would I need kleenex for this, it's just practice...  about  5 minutes later I was "undone", during the choir practice...  God used the first song Away in a manger, second  verse...the little LORD Jesus no cyring He makes  - the HS instantly dropped Hebr. 5:7 - and while in the days of His flesh, He prayed with loud, fervent cries, and tears... into my thoughts and by the next line... I love Thee, LORD Jesus, He melted the hardness I had let build up in my heart and by the 3rd verse I was a total basket case.   It wasn't whipped up emotionalism.   It's a whole story in itself, but through it He had me intensely weeping on behalf of the slaughtered unborn  - those being aborted, as several songs later we sang...Lully, Lullay the lullaby about the children that were murdered by King Herod... it still brings tears to my eyes and  gives me chills when I think about it, it was powerful, not pretty, but very powerful.  I almost walked out of that choir practice between v2 and v3 of Away in the manger because of not knowing what I was going to do with all the fluids pouring forth from my face, and I knew v3 was going to be worse for me than v2... and wouldn't have come back to that practice or any others...

 

ok, that's my testimony -  and I'm sticking to it - I have only shared a very small portion, even of the being undone.  That whole testimony alone would probably be about a  chapter's worth.    Since I started "hearing" Him again, I have journals of testimonies of these, and since I haven't been very diligent with journaling consistently, those probably only represent 25% or less.

 

at this point, you might say, what does this have to do with minorities in leadership, well, I'll say that my heart cry is that everyone who doesn't already experience this will have an incredible, delightful relationship with Jesus, that you know in your heart and experience in your inner man, what it looks like to love the Lord, Your God with all your heart, soul, strenghth and mind - that Jesus is your first love, and then out of that will flow via the Holy Spirit, His perfect combination of who He has determined should be delegates or elders or whatever the position might be, because we are sensitive to His "voice" and in the right place at the right time at His leading.  

May you, even today, "see" Him in a way you've never "seen" Him before. 

 

Ps.  here's a statistic on the devotional life of 1050 reformed and evangelical pastors - it makes me cry.   I don't think we want to know what the % is with leaders or the lay people, the article does suggest that it is probably lower -

Two hundred seventy (270 or 26%) of pastors said they regularly had personal devotions and felt they were adequately fed spirituality.

 

 

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  • here's the link to the article...statistics on pastors    http://www.intothyword.org/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=36562 
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    I agree that Paul has a vision of the good news in Christ, as do we all in the CRC. But Gal. 3:26 is not grounds for ignoring ethnicity. Paul, of course, primarily saw himself as an apostle to the gentiles. Paul was very aware of others ethnicity, how God in Christ loves them, and his own ethnicity as a Jew.

    I am not a fan of quotas either. But the goals set for Synod and, by extension, at 2850 are meant to keep our eyes open to including qualified persons who are also minorities. What gets me going in this conversation is that we think that by focusing on the gospel we think we can ignore racial/ethnic issues. I am a Dutch American. There is no getting around it. It influences how I think and act. But what about a hispanic? They think and act differently than I do. So do Canadians. And so on... These ethnic matters directly affect how various persons receive and respond to the gospel. The gospel should move us to want to grow in our listening to persons of various ethnicities. The gospel should move us to greater multicultural sensitivity grown through actual relationships. 

    I think that there needs to be an eye on ethnicity along with qualifications and other factors. Otherwise we are just asking for more of the status quo/maintance ministry.

    Dominese Blacketer states the point well.  The question is not whether or not we should do something -- in my post, I acknowledge there is a problem (though the degree of that problem is probably a matter of perspective).   We of course need to strive for and desire increased inclusion of hte variety of different ethnicities and backgrounds.  No question. 

    The question up for discussion is how we go about that -- or, maybe more accurately, what is it that motivates us.  How is the church different from the world when it comes to multiculturalism?  How do we recieve unity/diversity, instead of achieve it?  How does the gospel change not just what we believe ("diversity is important") but how we go about  bringing that reality about?

    That's where I think the BOT proposal falls flat. 

     Lets look at this issue through the eyes of the minorities and any other group that lack the means to change this dynamic of struggle between groups. That is the most loving way to address these issue's. What do you think they would like implemented  the context of the Gospel"s teaching? Why are we so concerned with how this affects us when the Scripture is christal clear from old to new testament about a perfect creation we are to strive fof?  Where is our humility? 

    To a quota of 25% minority should we add a quota of more than 50% female? For minorities who make up 10% of the denomination the proposal is 25%, so for women, perhaps 75% would be acceptable? I do not want quotas for either category but thought I would note that it seems this quota recommendation is not about justice or faithfulness to Scripture. This recommendation must be about something else, otherwise it has missed the mark in a big way with no gender figure. Is it about marketing, given the increased percentage of minorities in North America?

    How will the definition of "minority" be determined over time? If white people of European descent are less than 50% of the North American population at some point, will that group then become a minority that is counted in that 25% quota?  

    I hope that synod will be wise enough to squash the quota concept altogether, but if they opt for quotas, then I look forward to hearing the gender-based quota figure. More than 50% of the leadership of the CRC being women could definitely drastically change the denomination.  smiles.

    Participant

    ..Hey BOT... let's throw age in there too!  Why not 25% of people are under 25, 25% from 25-50, etc. etc. etc...  and then how about income class...25% of people who make under $25k a year, and 25% from those who make $25-75K, etc, etc...Oh and how about our education level...25% HS grads, 25% college grads... wait, wait, wait, I got another one...how about our tithing levels...  argh...the idea of any quota is making me cranky and  snarky!!!!  Quotas are man's understanding...

    ...why not try prayer AND fasting and listening to the Holy Spirit's direction, guidance, prompting,  whatever you want to call it, to select those whom the Holy Spirit calls to that position...as the Bible give us precedent?!?!?  Acts. 13:1-3; Acts 14:23    I have experienced incredible, humanly impossible convergences of God's Divine timing when something comes out of prayer and fasting instead of out of our human "ways."   When we do it man's way, we only get natural results, and some (maybe most) are pretty messy, and sometimes it makes things worse (just think of some of our gov't programs)... when we do it at God's leading and direction, we get SUPER natural results and you know you are in the right place at the right time...

    I'm not satisfied with our natural results anymore...

    My verse for this week was...This also comes from the LORD of hosts, Who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in guidance...Is. 28:29 NKJV

     and another one on His guidance...Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a Voice behind you saying, "This is the way; walk in it."....Is. 30:21 NIV

     

    LORD, help us to "hear" You...to be aware of Your Spirit's leading...of the many ways You speak to us...now one way, and then another...Open the eyes of our hearts to know You more, through the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.

    Participant

    but since I'm a woman, if the BOT DID want to suggest one just regarding women, I just might be willing to change my position on quotas....;)  ah darn... that was my flesh speaking...:) !

    Quite the contrary.  I think it is incredibly condescending to say to a minority person, in essence, "You're on this committee/board/position not primarily because you are qualified, but because you are black/Asian/Latino."  I think it's incredibly condescnding to say to someoone, "You lack the means to change the struggle" -- and since you can't do it, I'll do it for you.

    Rob,

      You obviously don't understand what I said. I will pray for clarification of thought for you.

    Dwolt,

        Quota's are not the answer. They are stimilus to correct gross inbalances. Everyone that is chosen should be qualified as other cannidate's. The prosess is designed to be temporary and not  takiing rights away from us but giving voices to people who are enately under represented. The social enviroment has created hurdles for them in the past. After the changes become more of a norm any afirmative action is not correct. That is the concept. It is not permenant way of social justice because that happens in the minds and actions of individuals. After all it was narsisstic people in power that created these issue's in the first place by exploiting vunerable people. Some day we will be the minority in numbers but as far as wealth and power are concerned, it currently is currently growing primarily in our demograghic.

       Besides this justice is from the Scriptures and is part of our new and old covenants. Don't be scared. people who have been oppressed don't want revenge but justice. I'm sure you could find a exception but not any more than when we have most of the power.

    Ken -- My point is that if this were about justice, then it would include a quota for women. It does not include such a quota, so either it should be changed to include a gender quota that is also greater than the percentage of women in the denomination or I will continue to figure this must be about something other than justice and correcting wrongs. Try putting up a woman against a minority male for a position and see who is more likely to get the job (hint: Hillary vs Obama in the last election).

    Additionally, I would be interested in knowing how often a more qualified white male loses out to a less qualified minority or woman compared to those times in recent years when a more qualified minority or female has lost out to a white male. I suspect the later does not occur nearly as often as the former within the CRC. Do we really want to mandate that some high percentage (compared to the percentage of the whole) of minorities get jobs over a non-minority man or woman?

    Let's say that we identify that we have 10% women in leadership positions and 10% minorities. Now approximately equally qualified non-minority female and minority male apply for the position. By this quota, the nod would go to the male, even though they would be represented appropriately (10% for 10%) while women would not be (10% for 50%).

    I do not favor quotas like this at all, but see it as an affront to women to treat the gap of minority leadership without treating the gender gap as well. I would like to better understand why there is a recommendation for a minority quota without a recommendation for a gender quota. It is a terrible idea to address these issues with a quota, in my opinion, although if that is the direction the body wishes to go, then I can imagine going along with a 50-50 balance between men and women in leadership positions in the CRC. 

    Dwolt, I stand corrected. I am for women representation also. Thanks for correcting me.

    Ken

    Bev,

       You live with quotas now. They are geographical not race or gender. this urge to correct injustice is not from the flesh because it is Biblical. Jesus demonstrated the proper attitude toward the oppressed. He walked amongst broken and confronted the oppressors.

      Ken

    Ken, I think using Jesus in this way is not legitimate.  Jesus had twelve
    > disciples, not a single one of which was a pharisee or saducee, until the
    > apostle Paul, who had to change dramatically before he could truly follow
    > Jesus.  If you were going to follow that example, then not a single
    > seminarian or professor could be a leadership disciple of Jesus.  Jesus also did not
    > have any samaritans or greeks or romans as his original 12 disciples, nor
    > any women.  This leadership did not have any quotas, nor was it
    > representative of the body of Christ. Quotas for Leadership in the church
    > of Christ does not solve any injustice; leadership is about serving and
    > proclaiming Christ. You could have any quota system you want, and the
    > leadership could still be injust.  Or, if it follows christ, it could
    > proclaim justice.  You should not confuse worldly ideals of color equality
    > and representation with God's justice.
    >
     

    Participant

    hey Ken...just curious what quotas you're referring to...the CRC ministry shares that have traditionally been called quotas, or something else...   

    it's not the God-designed wiring to correct injustice that I was referring to as from the flesh, it was being willing to support a human way of fixing it because I might benefit...  basically letting the ends justify the means...   I have worked with groups that have fought injustice with attorneys and man's wisdom...  dang if that aspect wasn't a waste of time and money...  however, Praise God that He does redeem it for good, because one of the redemptions was that  through it I connected with someone who is native,  which became a friendship, through that friendship she began going to church which resulted in her daughter not choosing an abortion - so she has a beautiful grandson now - we call him the miracle baby,  and my friend became a believer in Jesus Christ.   Just last week our family got to witness her baptism...  Praise God!   anyway, that's a whole testimony in itself, but my point is I have seen what the brightest and best (and highly paid) can do, and it doesn't even come close to being in the right place at the right time under God's direction...

    Bev,

     I am for quato's only as a last resort because they designed to correct a injustice on a temporary basis. Much like the myriad of human endeavor"s we perform to follow the Lord. Kind of like marching in front of Planned Parenthood to stop the injustice of abortion.

    Ken

    Participant

    ok, let's pray for an alternative solution to come forth through inspiration of the Holy Spirit...   something that is obvious that it's God's idea because it's so beautiful and amazing, we could never have come up with it on our own...   one of those AHA!   breakthroughs...  So I hope you can pray in agreement with me.... LORD, lead us and guide us into what your will is, let us not settle for human understanding in this issue, but let us listen to Your voice and be obedient to carry out what You desire, may there be numerous confirmations that whatever it is, it is from You...  LORD, and if we aren't quite sure how to listen to Your still small voice, please teach us...  and if someone doesn't know whether they have ever heard Your "voice" LORD, may they "hear" You this week with a "rhema" word, whether it's through Your living and active Word, or through a person, a song, nature... whatever you know will be meaningful to each person, so there is no question it is You...

    FYI, in case you aren't aware of this already..  planned parenthood. is on the verge of being totally defunded by the gov't...  that's huge...  it passed the House like 240 to 200 or so, what a strong support for life by our country's leaders...  not sure where the Senate is on it though...   I believe this issue was the hold up on passing the budget or whatever a month or so ago when the country was going to shut down for a day because it hadn't been approved by congress. 

    John, I pray you will rethink your last post. I'm not confused on this.

    Ken

    You will have to explain why Jesus did not have quotas. 

    He is not totally depraved.

    Participant

    I don't see any race card playing here, and I don't think it's appropriate to assume that persons are "playing the race card," whatever that could possibly mean in a discussion about racial and ethnic quotas and/or goals. If this network is for genuine discussion, we should have the freedom to say what's on our mind, albeit in a civil and Christlike manner, without fear of recrimination or labeling. As for the denominational issues, the lack of transparency and meaningful communication from the BOT leaves people open to speculate, which is why the churches are owed more from the BOT than the non-communications we have received. Whatever is going on, it IS our business, because it is our church, not the church of the agencies or the church of denominational headquarters. And I wonder how really accountable the BOT is, given the rushed agendas of our Synods these days. Are their minutes available to the classes?

    Participant

    Thank you...  I was starting to feel very cautious about sharing any concerns about our denomination..  and that we were just skirting the deeper issues, while only having freedom in addressing the more superficial ones.  These deep concerns have to be addressed, and in a healthy, open, Spirit- led way.    Joel 2:17  Oh, LORD, that our priests/leaders would weep between the porch and the altar on behalf of Your broken, hurting Bride, Jesus...

    thank you for stating so diplomatically your concerns on the BOT... I was sensing something there, but couldn't put words to it...   and if there's one thing I have found that particularly the dutch don't like - I won't speak for other cultures on this, it is lack of transparency...  whether it's perceived or real...

    Bev,

      I know exactly what your talking about when it comes to being in relationship with God and fell the Holy Spirit fill your mouth with words that are not yours. I see the Spirit in coincidences that  that happen to me. Glory be to God

    Ken

    Participant

    I know you do Ken... that's why I'd love to meet you and your family... even if you are liberal (i am teasing you)...  I sense you have a beautiful heart for Him and for justice... and for worship...for His Kingdom...   you wouldn't happen to be eligible for going to synod, would you?

    on an entirely different note.  while I have your attention =)..  there is a pastors and prayer leaders prayer summit next week M-W at Cedar Springs...  I know you are a prayer warrior, so please intercede on behalf of those gathering next week...  and if you feel so led by the Spirit, come out for a few hours...  I am planning to be there, not sure what that's going to look like for me yet as there is only one other woman going at this point (there are 15-20 guys signed up - including Mitch S, whom you know).   So thanks in advance for your prayers on behalf of these leaders...  and maybe I'll see you there...

    Thanks Bev,

      Now you put me into service. You know I will have to due what uyou ask because I believe in you and your faith. I am sick , but I will do my best which isn't very good these days. I live in communion with the Lord but it is rough and lonely. But He does not promise a easy road just Grace. Glory be to God

    Ken

    Participant

    Thanks Ken...  from your posts I know you have a heart for pastors, that's why I asked you...  don't underestimate the power of your prayers, especially when they are prayed in weakness, they are very powerful.  So whatever the Spirit leads you in, giving you the strength and insight to pray on behalf of our leaders...  You are so beautiful to Him, and He loves all the time you spend with Him...    the funny thing is, sometimes He answers prayers just because we spend time with Him, and aren't even asking specifically for anything...  it's like a bonus =)...  again, pray however you feel the Spirit asking you to pray...  He will help you, that's His promise to us...

    I still don't understand why we have to continue to point out what race everyone is. Aren't we all "Christians" ? Moses Chung is a Christian, whether he is Korean, Black, White, etc. Should make no difference.
    I work in sales in the New York metro area, and I have customers. Whether they are Jewish, Black, Peruvian, Cuban, Dominican, Indian, Jamaican, British, Irish, etc, what difference does it make. They are still my customers. At our Synod and Classis we are all Christians. Should we refer to George as Dutch or white every time we talk about him? Or can he just be George, a brother in Christ.

    Community Builder

    For just a few moments, I thought that George Vander Weit was back. I just saw this as one of the 'latest' articles in the Network. It took a while to realize that the piece is three years old and that, to my knowledge, he is still missing.

    Is this piece's inclusion in The Network intentional, or is it a painful omission on the part of Network editors to archive this piece.

    Community Builder

    Hi Keith,

    In what publication did you see a reference to this blog as "one of the 'latest' articles in the Network?" 

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