The way of the past and present in the Southwest Region Conference of Seventh-day Adventist organization when electing officials is to listen to the rumors that are put out there by people who are interested in the office and then to elect them. How ridiculous?
I am a lay person and know many forgotten shepherdess, wives of pastors, and women who have led and are not being heard by moving forces who attempt to control the balances of leadership. In every other organization religious and secular if you were interested in a job, (Secretary, Treasurer, or even President), you could never get it by putting your name out there or having someone else to spread the rumor.
Over the years in this conference, I have watched and participated in this process for a long time. I have been in other regional conferences and they do the same thing. What about our children? Our youth and young professionals who certainly know better than this. How many of them are serving as delegates with the chance to make a difference?
How Can We Change This Process?
The conference should post a detailed job description on their website with an overview of the duties and required qualifications for the position. Ministers and incumbents interested in the position should post a profile or send their information to the churches so all constituents can have adequate time to review them.
What about social networking? Why not post them on social sites such as Facebook? Many churches now have their own social networking profiles our church has one. Constituents need to review their professional profiles especially, delegates elected to the Nominating Committee. Profiles should include responses to pre-written questions developed by the executive committee that include the challenges our conference is facing. These question responses should be posted on each profile so that constituents can feel informed. Additionally, future prospects should write a summary of what they would do if elected to office and how they would address issues such as education, job losses, small churches, evangelism, seniors, lost young professionals out there who are not finding their needs met in our churches and are migrating to mega churches who are providing programs that meet their needs.
Afterall, it is our money, not theirs! Give me a break! The regional conferences have always operated as if the ministers and constituents are out there to serve them and it is just the opposite!
We should be disappointed in the fact that anyone can be nominated and chosen from another field without giving the ones who have served in this conference and region an opportunity to be considered. It is also shocking that, officially, no job experience is required! The Union President is serving ministers and he to my knowledge has never really pastored in the past. Not to negate his leadership expertise or call to the field.
From my experience, I would never consider anyone for President who has not been out there in this field serving as a church pastor! We need someone who has been in this conference, built schools and churches, know the people as members, officers, and the needs if all constituents. Someone from the outside has to get to know the churches, the people, that could take 10 years and then they are trying to get re-elected. They should at least have been a minister with a minimum of 11-20 years.
We need someone to speak who is ready from day one, someone who knows the problems, who is willing to communicate with how they would serve. We have other elected office besides President. We have plenty of people in this conference who are accountants and probably CPA’s for companies and large corporations who would probably have much to contribute about our financial status. For example, ineffective evangelism investments, preferential treatment to larger churches, educational programs that do not promote and prepare our students for an information and technology driven society.
Just for making comments like this, pastors, their wives, and other layworkers could receive some backlash so they are afraid to speak out! Ask them how they feel and their thoughts. I am a tithe paying constitituent who has decided to speak collectively on behalf of others, women and men, who want to see change.
Delegates of this conference please let our voice be heard!
God Bless You