My conflict avoidance nature makes me more of an observer than a vocal participant. I sat in the meeting for leaders of adult classes and ministries, noting the behaviors not only of the church leadership hosting the meeting, but also of the audience. I can’t help but ask, “Whom do the elders serve?” Are they to minister to the church body or provide a buffer between the senior minister and the church body? Is this shift of focus a consequence of the change in governance model? Why did so many excellent young pastors leave? Why were they apparently not mentored and helped along in their ministry careers? Were they a threat to the senior minister? I’m just asking.

“The elders stated their case and fulfilled their job description as elders to surround the senior minister and protect him. Remember that statement in the new bylaws for the industrial-complex church? The elders’ wagons were definitely circled around the senior minister. Elder #5 nervously continued in unstructured sentences, bringing in arguments about job turnovers and people leaving frequently in work situations as a normal flow of business. I wondered if someone had asked him why the church had more than ten ministers leave within the past few years.” (Taylor, Joy S., A View from the Pews — The Inside Story of a Broken Church, 2022 Lily of the Valley Publishing, Santa Claus IN, p. 81.)

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