Sunday, August 14, 2011

and then there were three executive elders

Okay, so instead of five executive elders there are now three. Quaint ... and unfortunately unsurprising. The by-laws indicate that there ought be no less than three but no more than six executive elders so this fits the parameters of design but, still, three is a bare minium indeed. Setting aside (for the moment) that I think the kingly/priest/prophetic delineation is lazy one that not supportable by a truly thorough study of the scriptures, I would have found it difficult to stay at a church where the executive elder board shrinks from 5 to 3 in five years. What was the point of drafting by-laws if the organization was going to change so rapidly those by-laws were functionally meaningless? Just to have by-laws so you can get your 501(c)3 status cleared up?

This executive elder board trinity still includes an executive board with a member who got the bright idea to suggest the boondoggle in Ballard. I suppose he's older and wiser now but even Ahithophel can be thwarted by the Lord. Since I'm not there, one could say, it shouldn't make much difference to me. Well, it does. Just as accountability from pastors across the country who don't interact with a man and who both stepped down from active pastoral work in the last two years for a while doesn't come off like real accountability from "above" ; so a steadily shrinking executive elder board for a denomination in all but name doesn't come across like it necessarily provides a lot of room for accountabililty from "below". It's particularly true when one of the executives was converted under the preaching of the "prophet" pastor and has effectively had no professional life of any consequence outside the organization.

Precisely because the organization is so obviously a denomination in all but name it would seem that with ten churches, and with the new razzle-dazzle of all the campuses being churches then why wouldn't the executive board include the lead pastors of each campus, er, church? An executive board of ten or twelve would not seem too unwieldy for an organization with about ten thousand people in the organization and churches in multiple states with plans to go international at some point. The Seattle Symphony has 7 people on its board of directors. Seattle Art Museum has nine members on its managing board of trustees. There are nine members on the board of directors at Microsoft, to cast the net into for-profit organizations. Boeing has eleven members on its board of directors.

But the executive elder board at a certain denomination in all but name consists of just three people. It didn't matter that dozens of elders voted on the purchase of a certain piece of property that isn't being used as a campus so much as that there is a type of unanimity and efficiency that is counterproductive. There are two ways in which this can happen. One is when the leadership team tasked with making executive decisions is too big ... but another is when it is too small. We don't know whether or not three are really going to avoid the pitfalls of thirty. Considering that the three were once five and that only two of those have remained while the rest have been a revolving door it seems as though what should have been done from the outset was simply making the two the official executives who mattered at all who would then pick subordinates to do their will. Unofficially that may simply be exactly what has transpired.

Anyway, just making a few mental notes by way of blogging on the matter. If you get it then you get it and if you don't then you don't.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bet that Driscoll still preaching that he is held accountable by a plurality of elders. ROFL