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I agree with the interpetation of JZ. However, to continue with this middle ages notion that Elders rule over the congregation is totally undemocratic and a big turnoff. Elders are there to address the spitiual needs of the congregation and should be trained in this area. . An elected board should run the church as representatives of the membership. The deacons should become an appointed  group who are dedicated to social action and no governance.role  Its time to bring our church governance into 21st century  and compliy with internationally accepted democratic and human rights principles.

The BOT really botched the departure of Jerry Dykstra and Sandy Johnson.. Again the main agencies came on top and get to keep their little empires instead of being properly integrated.. As a layperson, I'm tired of ministers trying to hide things from the membership. The pewsitter pays the bills and they should be told what's going on at our denominational HQ. The Synod 2006 approach mentioned by VanderWiet should be avoided. There should be full disclosure and not hide behind advisory committees, confidentiality agreements, and executive session. 

Thanks for your post, George, but the procedure you describe is not full disclosure and is old-fashioned. The membership of the church needs to have more input into the direction of the denomination and that can't happen without all of us knowing why Jerry was shown the door by the BOT, The executive director position belongs to all members, not just a select few in the BOT and  synodical advisory committee. The minute we get a full understanding of Jerry and Sandy's departures, the sooner we can move forward in renewing and reviving a declining denomination. Now we have someone in the ED position that is on the verge of retirement who may be a great preacher but has no management experience in running organizations. What we need at the helm is a dynamic younger leader with a passion for revival, a track record in successfully managing a complex ministry organization, and a proven ability to connect with youth as the future of our denomination. There is no time to waste with a two year appointment  to smooth over some feathers at the denominational office. 

Posted in: Drama Queen

Thanks for a very thought-provoking article. .As a layperson,  I don't see any point to strengthening the classis. We would be better off with abolishing them, I've attended a number of them and don't see any value for the local church. The idea of sending classis cops to a church annually serves absolutely no purpose. Ministry should happen at the local level and to facilitate it our denomination only needs two agencies. One agency would focus inward on congregational health and contain all the services that support local congregations. A second would be outward focused in helping congregations connect with their communities and the world. With this simple structure an annual oversight by synod would not be complicated, as the BOT would provide the day-to-day oversight. There are too many stove pipes @ Grand Rapids office which should be reduced to two and they should work directly with congregations. 

George, a fine article and many good points. You missed one. The BOT lied to the membership. Gerry did not resign for personal and family reasons. He was shoved out according to the latest report from synod. When a board makes such a grieveous error it should resign, as the membership's confidence in this board has been compromised.

Why should a full name make a difference . Sorry for offending anyone, but we are simply not getting the real facts on the Dykstra/Johnson departures.. Listen to Synod's discussion on this matter - archived on the synod webcast page. Maybe "lying" by the BOT was a bit to strong; scratch that word and insert " misled the membership". As a pew-sitter I expect the BOT to be upfront and they have failed to do this.

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