We can tear it down by design. We can let it be torn down by misadministration. We can wait until it dies, proceeding by half-measures, trying to keep up appearances, until it falls into the kind of shabby gentility made famous in Gone With the Wind. Or, we can just walk away lamenting.
The reality of our day is expensive, centralized, out of touch authorities are losing their grip everywhere. In a day of dwindling resources, everything we support must produce.
Working for nearly five years in an anti-local church, reactionary environment, I learned first hand the power of inertia. Dozens of little agendas flowed up against the Greater Proposition, eroding it first by pebbles, then by boulders, finally by mountain sized chunks. I saw personally the administration of fear (loss of jobs, loss of prestige, loss of influence) triumph over the introduction of ideas, resulting in the realization of all we feared.
Our caretaker administration sensed the pull of change pined for by our supporting churches. We began, stopped, retracted, began again, retreated and finally crashed in a hopeless muddle of stops and starts. We literally mounted our horse and rode off in all directions.
A new administration coming in will not now have the luxury of business as usual. If, ten years from now, there is anything left to comment on at all, it will be because the new administration radically alters the duties and functions of the convention and of the Director’s office in particular.
Sincerity and decency should be expected but will not do. The new administration must be one of ideas rather than reliance on general principles that fold up with each succeeding crisis. The Wade administration’s predilection for simple, unfrightening hacks has to give way.
Simply put, the next administration must appeal to the best and brightest. Somehow, it must recognize the connection of the local church to the world, empower that connection and help resources flow to the local body.