What should He tackle?
“Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right thing.” — Warren Bennis, Ph.D. On Becoming a Leader
The President should Face Reality
A reality check says today’s church environment is highly competitive. A church or President that does not understand their highly competitive church community is out of touch. The only way to remain relevant is to reshape ministries to the needs of a rapidly, changing religious community. The mega congregations are doing this and people are responding by flocking to them.
The President Should Seek To Understand What Kind Of Change He Wants To Introduce
Often, when constituents talk about change they want in the local territory, or even in their churches, I am not so sure that they really know what it takes to produce it. Many leaders of larger and improving congregations have encapsulated themselves with the notion that I am doing fine over here but your situation over there is your problem. We might describe this as a bad attitude when contrasted against the framework of synergy. Too many leaders focus on the parts rather than on the whole. Leaders sometimes develop the attitude of, “all for one” but, “every man for himself”. In order to become relevant, members, pastors, and teachers need to change the way they think in terms of ministry and education within our communities and local field. This means that workers and teachers have to figure out how to work together.
Tackle Education With Urgency
The problem of education cannot wait. One example of solving a declining education system in the SWRC would be for the President to seek out all the top educators in our field involved in public education, and get them in one room as a think tank, and come out with a plan to save our education system. Find out and listen to every worker and member and involve them in the process toward making our schools thriving learning centers.
Develop A Working Atmosphere of Synergy
What if, change meant that we all worked together so that all churches in each area defined by the conference achieved? Our major emphasis could start by improving the church with the greatest need then, ascending to the least. We could get away from individual baptismal numbers and point to the overall goal of a total desired result. Everyone gets recognition. Ministers and members would focus on the whole rather than every man for himself. Together we could descend on a congregation that is in real need, and over a period of months we would focus our attention on that one church or several congregations to bring them up. Church Ministries, Stewardship, Education, Community Services, Adventist Youth etc. would all work harmoniously to build, rebuild a congregation to a level of relevancy in their community. By fixing one congregation we start rebuilding the conference a church at a time. Where would we be in five years? The President should acquire a scale to rate each church base on need and urgent care.
Teach That Resistance To Change Is A Dead-end Street
For many members who champion the cause of making sure that everything remains the same, they have not accepted that resistance to change is a dead-end street. Members want a great church or conference but may not be willing to put out the effort to make it happen. The above concept can only work when a church signs on for change (Please read George Knights Book, I Used To Be Perfect). Change begins in the mind.
Understand That Many Members And Workers Are Spiritually Burned-out
The President should seek to bring Renewal. Pastors and lay leaders are over taxed with the burden of meeting the demand for “more” from local church members. Parishioners and workers are not only demanding excellent service, they are also demanding more from their conference and pastors. If this demand is not met, other non-Seventh-Day Adventist churches will meet it.
Figure Out How To Meet The Demand For More
Today, conferences and local churches within North America are reshaping to change quickly in order to meet the demands for “more” from their members. The church’s top leaders know they cannot throw money at every problem and that they need highly committed and flexible workers who are ready to meet the demands from congregants. As a Conference President (leader), Elder Sam Green should consider actions and make changes as quickly and smoothly as possible. “Resistance is futile”.
So what should our new President consider during his first one thousand days?
I believe that he should consider changing the status quo. He should become innovative by making constructive and positive changes as opposed to the same processes used by former leaders. To do this he should move quickly and effectively. The president should lead workers and teachers to work together for each other rather than for self. This is missing in the SWRC.
~The Forgotten Shepherdess