Every Thursday afternoon, Russell Smith and I (and several other Cincinnati pastors from various denominations and backgrounds) get together for discussion at Barnes & Noble in Newport. When I arrived last Thursday I asked Russell if he'd read my post regarding the Presbytery meeting. He looked at me and said, "You're not looking to make any friends in Presbytery, are you?"

First I laughed. Then, later, I got nervous. Then I reflected on what I'd written. Then I came to this conclusion: We need to be free to say what we think.

I also mentioned in my other post that I nothing excites me about being Presbyterian. However, I need to say that I do appreciate that we can at least hold different viewpoints. And we can still respect each other--ideally, anyway.

I say all this because it ties in with the "Permission-giving" aspect of the Transformation Team's report (see Russell's post for more on this). Russell writes:

It is much easier for me to go off and ad hoc partner with a few churches on things that we really care about than it is for me to try to make a sales pitch to a presbytery committee, wait for their meeting to come around, and then see what they decide. That, I think, is what the transformation team's proposal is about.

In other words, instead of making people jump through hoops, we ought allow people to go and do ministry without having to ask permission first.

I think there's another aspect of permission-giving, and that's the freedom to challenge others to a higher standard.

I'm currently reading Winning, by Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. In his book, he says that one of the most important aspects of a winning team is candor. Y'know--being candid. Being frank. Being open and honest. Not mean-spirited, but honest. Candor is what brings good ideas to the fore. Vigorous debate and grappling weeds out the bad ideas. You find this concept not only in Winning, but also in Good to Great, by Jim Collins. Candor, wrestling, debate--these are all critical for us to become a great presbytery.

I don't claim to be right all the time. In fact, maybe my comments in my other post were way off base. But they were written in a spirit of candor. I just want to be open about how I feel and what I think.

Believe it or not, I really do care about this presbytery. If I didn't, I wouldn't have expressed myself so strongly.


DGH said...

Wel one thing is for sure...most of the peple that you "might" offend...probably do not even know what a blog is...and if they do then they need to read candor and accept it and open up the field for play time..because it is time to start the dscussion, frustration, anger, sadness, etc... and if it is not delt with...then it will be the death of us...until Christ comes in final victory! Maybe a little death and ressurection is just want the church needs!

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