The minutes from that [April Executive Council] meeting say, “The Chair reminded Council that it had wanted a different budget process, which it had had. She said that was a success. She asked rhetorically, “Was it perfect?” No, she said, but it was a sign and symbol of change. She noted that complaint was part of the cost of leadership.”
In other words, suck it up and move on.
I left that meeting deeply troubled, not by the criticism the Council was getting ”“ I’ve been a writer for newspapers and television much too long to get my feelings hurt by criticism. What troubled me was that leaders I admire and trusted seemed to me to be acting in confusing ways ”“ saying things that were contradicted by their actions. Again and again they urged Council to see that ministry is carried out as “close to the ground” as possible and by those people who can do it best, which is usually lay people in congregations across the church. Yet what they keep doing is to try to operate from a top-down model.