I smiled at an email today saying this blog had the top clicked story by staff at Baptist House this year. Thank you to those who visit here and interact with what I write. But I also want to use this as an opportunity to say thank you to the staff who work for the BUGB and the Associations. In all my dealings with folk who work in Baptist House I’ve not yet met someone who doesn’t work hard and care about what they do. I have the privilege of seeing what some of them do behind the scenes and they deserve our gratitude. Let’s not forget that the large majority who work in the Associations or at Baptist House are putting into practice strategy and policy which they have been given by Council, committees, Trustees, etc. On occasions the questions and discussions in blogs, at Council and elsewhere can make them feel undervalued or unsettled; yet while I blog about the future of the denomination, Union and finance these folk get on with doing the job they have been given.
For those of you who get the BUGB email news sweep or are interested in stats the most visited pages of this blog this year are:
1.Influential English Baptists
2. 2012 The making of a modern denomination
Totally agree with this Neil. At a visit to Spurgeon’s College last week I was also struck by the passion which is invested in training our future leaders from all the staff at our colleges. This may be a time to ask questions about the future shape of our collective ministry but the foundations which have been laid are good and there is much potential if we take time to listen to each other and have courage to take risks together.
Thanks Neil -:) Means alot
Well said Neil. It’s all too easy to slip into grumble mode and forget the real people who work really hard.
“Let’s not forget that the large majority who work in the Associations or at Baptist House are putting into practice strategy and policy which they have been given by Council, committees, Trustees, etc.”
But therein lies the problem. The Council, committees and Trustees all operate in completely opaque and unaccountable ways. Who is even on the Council? What is the relationship between the Council and the Trustees? What are these committees? I don’t want to “grumble” but we are at complete crisis point both ecclesiologically and financially. It is for this reason that the many hard-working staff at Baptist House are unsettled.
I’m regret if saying this makes anyone feel “undervalued” but I deeply care about the future of the Baptist Union. We need to call a spade a spade and acknowledge that as passionate as many of are leaders undoubtledly are, the senior leadership in particular have shown themselves to be incompetent to lead us. Morover, the mysterious structures of governance which should have held them to account have been shown to be completely unfit for purpose.
I don’t wish to grumble but I don’t want the Titanic to sink out of politeness!
“John Smyth” There are three separate but related issues here. The first is the one of governance and whether it is fit for purpose. The second is the decisions made by Council, Trustees and so on as to whether they are the right decisions. The third is about the individual members of staff.
I have blogged and will continue to do so about the first two. Whilst I’m not as negative about some of what has happened as you appear to be there are serious questions to be asked.
Nevertheless the majority of people who work for the Union are not the ‘senior leadership’ but folk who get on with doing what they are employed to do. Notwithstanding the big picture questions I’m appreciative of the work they do, their commitment and dedication.
I also think it is right to put my thanks on my blog because otherwise one might get the impression that I am forever questioning, disputing, dissenting from what the Union does.
The reality is that I’m part of the Union too. I may currently lead a larger church but used to be the minister of a church in receipt of a Home Mission Grant. The larger proportion of my college fees came from the student bursary fund, I have benefited from the Union’s support of the Churches Ministerial Counselling Service and the advice and support of Regional Ministers. There are times when I question what we do as BUGB but I’m also grateful to be part of it and for the work people do.
Well done Neil – good one.
@Neil – Thanks for your reply and for blogging on this. I totally agree that there are a number of issues here. As I hinted at in my last email, I also agree that there are a lot of fantastic hard working people at Baptist House who are dedicated to their work. It is down a complete failure of management and leadership that these hard-working people now find their jobs seriously threatened going into the Christmas period.
(On a side note, as I understand it, I am part of the Union too. However, unfortunately my experience and that of my Church in no way mirrors your own.)