Off to Baptist Union Council again tomorrow; this usually
gets me blogging grumpily from the back. I guess it is the nature of
denominational gatherings that they have some inbuilt frustrations either
because ‘strong leadership’ stifles debate and deliberation or a lack of
coherent vision ensures endless discussion without resolution.
In part the problem is that it is not easy for large groups
of people to grasp the complexity and interconnectivity of issues, nor to
distinguish between items of strategic importance and administrative convenience.
The later is not what Council is for but, because they are often things everyone
understands, can easily get in the way.
As Baptists the challenge is to find ways that give weight
to our desire to seek the mind of Christ and for our life to be shaped by our
core convictions about the nature and character of God revealed in Christ.
I’ve posted on the subject before but I continue to think
that we probably need someone whose role it is to facilitate vision and
direction across the Union, who can combine a drive to move things forward with
an ability to encourage a diversity of voices and who can mix the determination
to make progress with the political skills to work with groups of people, each
with their own plans and priorities.
On a lighter note HT to Baptist Bookworm for an excellent
idea that should inject some excitement into proceedings.
I’m glad in a way the BU Council reflects exactly the normal mode of any Bap Chap ‘Members and / or AGM meeting.’ Endless discussion & strong leadership (to prevent blood on the carpet)seems to be the norm!. Sadly it seems like ‘administrative convenience’ will always overwhelm any strategic thinking and debate. Baptist democracy could be a great blessing – but more often turns out to be either contentious or boring. Blog away Neal – and dream……..
One brief item in the opening afternoon has been about the appointment of a future president illustrates the point. Concern is expressed that there are few nominations which is something that does need reflection but ducks a wider question of how we can encourage, provide opportunity and promote a range of voices who could contribute to wider baptist life.
Do we focus our attention of the bigger issues or on the administration of a system?
Those who are following the debate about finance might also be interested in this comment on American Baptist life. http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4931/53/