Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Moderator Responds: Part 2

Responding to an open invitation from the Reverend Bruce Reyes-Chow, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly, I submitted to Bruce and posted on this blog five interview style questions for Bruce’s considered response. He has since responded and I am spreading out his answers over several posts.

The second question I put to Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Generl Assembly, the Reverend Bruce Reyes-Chow, was . . .

. . . what has most disappointed you about serving as Moderator of the General Assembly?

"Not much has disappointed me as well. I guess a realization that could be seen as a disappointment concerns the capacity that we might have to make transitions needed to meet the needs of a changing culture and worldview. I am not talking about social/moral issues but about a culture of constant movement. Left, right or middle, we are so set in our ways when it comes to worship styles and structures, institutional structures and other things that I am not sure we have can really become as adaptable that we need to be. "

In his response I think Bruce identifies one of the most difficult problems in the church, and many other institutions: change. It seems that large institutions, from denominations to countries to corporations, often place change agents in leadership positions only to refuse to make the changes the leader calls for.


Louis said...

Electing change agents to positions of responsibility is a good way to control them. -Lou Knowles

John Edward Harris said...

Good point, Lou, and one I have found to be somewhat true. From outside the institutional structures it is easy to advocate for change. Once inside the institutional structures, institutional maintenance can become the order of the day.