A while back, I left a bunch of questions on a post by Jay Voorhees about the Call to Action report. Jay sent the questions to Neil Alexander, a member of the steering committee that wrote the report.
Now Jay has the response to my questions. I appreciate the efforts of Jay and Mr. Alexander to clarify some issues. You can read the full response on Jay’s blog.
The most eye-opening things written by Mr. Alexander pointed to a strong misconception I got by reading the report. Perhaps I am too much a follower, but when I read the report, it struck me as a set of marching orders. The language and tone spoke to me as one of directive rather than one of persuasion. To my ears it said, “We must do X” and “We will do Y.” Coming from the bishops and other high-profile leaders, it read as commands to the troops.
But that is an incorrect reading, according to Mr. Alexander:
Again, the Steering Team Report is from one group of designated UMC leaders and offered to other leaders for consideration, debate, perfection and hopefully engaged response. The [Towers Watson] research is important but serves as only one element of the overall effort and provides a reference point of solid research that can be used as a stating place for both envisioning the future and positively impacting the life of the UMC.
I must admit, this is not how the report reads to me.