Apex report got this right

Reading the conversations on the Methoblog the last few days, I recall this little blast from the past:

General lack of trust within the Church was a pervasive and recurring theme in the majority of interviews. Lack of trust was expressed in many ways, for example, “between the pew and leadership”, personal distrust feeding institutional distrust and vice versa. Trust was cited as one of the most important challenges that the Church faces, it was cited as a force working against a vital connexion and it was cited as a root cause for under-functioning structures and processes of the Church. Sources of distrust ranged from “old wounds” to representative and/or protectionist behaviors and agendas that were not putting the broad interests of the Church first. Lack of accountability was also cited as a root cause of distrust – when people are not accountable for their actions and behaviors, they cannot be trusted. Interviewees related that trust and good intent was not presumed in relationships and frequently the opposite was true. Trust was often mentioned as a leadership issue – particularly in the context of power and authority. People are not trusted with power so they are not given authority – they are not accountable so they are not trusted with power and authority. Often mentioned was the observation that leaders themselves frequently do not demonstrate trust behaviors.

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2 thoughts on “Apex report got this right

  1. Amen!

    Interestingly, this observation, along with one other (regarding the need to downsize conferences), are the only two findings in all the data not addressed (at all) in the call to action proposal. To my mind, these were perhaps the two most significant findings.

  2. TRUST is the main issue. Without it, nothing else is possible. Unfortunately, every survey of rank and file United Methodists going back to 1972 calls out trust between the people in the pews who pay the bills and church leadership as a major issue. The main problem with the “middle way” (besides all the theological questions) is that it depends on both sides being able to trust that whatever agreement is created would be obeyed by everyone and enforced if not. Holy conferencing depends on that as well. The bishops who have unilaterally removed some chargeable offenses have made all of that impossible. If everyone is going to do their own thing, then you can’t expect everyone to subsidize your choices especially the bad ones. So, we can’t continue to pay for the Western Jurisdiction bishops when they’re fiddling while their area is melting. For their supporters to choose other causes to support while crying crocodile tears about the “connection” really takes the cake.

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