1. Karen B. wrote:
I was struck by this section proposing “parallel growth” as a solution (from entry on gnats and camels, part 2)
Rather, leaders who are in favor of change are encouraged to all but ignore “the system” and concentrate almost all their efforts on encouraging healthy franchises – those local retailers that are doing well in spite of “corporate” policy or procedures.
The analogy isn’t perfect – we’re not a corporation – but how that looks in the Episcopal Church is that people who are in favor of change should all but ignore “the system” and concentrate their efforts on encouraging healthy congregations – those congregations that are growing and mission-minded in spite of diocesan or “national” structures.
Where it gets really fascinating is this: “Parallel growth” assumes that one day all those healthy local franchises grow so much they eventually become the majority.
And then there is a revolution – an almost overnight toppling of those antiquated structures because the (now) majority simply won’t put up with it.
That sounds like something that could have been written by evangelicals involved in the 20/20 program 15 years ago. It was, in essence, the philosophy of people like John Guernsey, and Martyn Minns, Bishops Stanton and Howe, etc.
But as the central organization gets more and more toxic and dysfunctional, it is very hard to remain “apart” and to differentiate in any meanignful way and to keep the franchises growing and vibrant.
In effect, one of the reasons I ended up supporting Truro’s vote to disaffiliate from TEC was that we could either spend all our time, energy and resources in fighting the cancer and heresy in TEC, or we could focus on outreach and local ministry.
One example comes to mind. Imagine that Johnson & Johnson was a company with franchises. The Central office decided that actually a little Aresenic in Tylenol capsules was a GOOD thing. No need to issue a recall or take a divisive stand against poison. No, let the consumers buy whatever Tylenol they wanted. Tylenol with or without arsenic.
So, if you’re a J&J franchise, *you* can take a stand and say “we recognize that arsenic is poison and we will not sell Tylenol with arsenic.” We will only sell healthy J&J products. Seriously, how long do you think that franchise will survive? Even if they can somehow maintain their customer loyalty by heroic efforts, the death throes of the corporation as it loses market share and profits, and thus must exert ever more pressure on its few “healthy and vibrant” franchises are likely to cause enormous drag and stress. Never mind the fact of having a control-freak of a CEO who will tolerate NO dissent and insists that ALL franchises promote Tylenol enhanced with arsenic.
In many ways I *WISH* that scenario of parallel growth would work. But Christ has made His church a body, and we ARE interdependent, and sickness in one part of the body affects the whole body. This strategy of ignoring the madness and poison and dysfunction of 815 and TEC and trying to just focus on local growth does not bode well.
June 5, 10:19 am | [comment link]