The MSTF Why-nots

For those of you who are speaking with GS 2007 delegates, here are the latest versions of the “Why-nots” of R-13 and R-14 of the MSTF.

[Editor’s note: On Jim’s request, I have posted the Word version of this list here.]

6 Reasons why R-13 “Open Space” is a bad idea:

1. It’s redundant –good cooperation is already taking place in/among classes.
a. Classes and consistories don’t need anyone’s permission to do mission.
b. We already have 45 “open spaces” [classes] where many positive things are happening.2. An added layer of bureaucracy [“The MSGST”] cures nothing.
a. Take your choice:
i. Go out and do ministry, or
ii. Sit writing proposals about how you would like to go out and do ministry.
b. Why add to the paper-load on classes and consistories?
c. Who really benefits from this proposed arrangement?

3. Local Ministry is local call—and rightfully so.
a. Eight people in a conference room in Grand Rapids or at 475 don’t know your neighborhood like you do.
b. The BCO does not give the GSC local ministry responsibility.
c. Classes and consistories are responsible to design and do local ministry because they are on the scene.
d. Local decisions are best done locally– by folks who must live with the outcomes.

4. The scheme is a waste of time and assessment dollars— with no gain for local churches.

5. Classes have not been asked if this is a good or workable idea.
a. No survey, no letter, no conversation.

6. Failure to consult is disrespectful and un-Biblical.
a. It infantilizes every classis and church—implying that they are refusing their responsibilities.
b. Which classes are asking to be relieved of their responsibility for ministry?
c. If there is a complaint, let’s follow the mandate of Matthew 18 and talk it out face to face first.

6 Reasons Why R-14 [Merging Assemblies] is a Bad Idea

1. Classes that have merged are telling us all—“Don’t do it!”
a. Merger creates more problems than it solves.
b. There is no windfall of dollars or volunteers or free time after merger.
c. Acquiring staff is no panacea, but it is added cost.
d. Local assembly staff needs to be locally accountable.

2. Merger is the most disruptive form of organizational change.
a. Adjusting to a new organizational culture takes years of effort.
b. We will be tangled up in side-issues, re-orientation and possible litigation for years and years.
c. Boundary-adjustment does not guarantee attitude-adjustment.
d. If after you merge into “Super-classes”, you divide up into smaller “districts”— what’s gained?

3. No dollars will be saved—many will be spent.

4. R-14 is illegal—the BCO does not allow the GSC to change classis boundaries.

5. It’s disrespectful—
a. Before you move your fence, you usually talk with your neighbor.
b. Classes and churches have not been consulted on this idea.

6. Plenty of cross-boundary cooperation is already happening.
a. Had a real conversation been initiated, as per GS 2005 instructions, this would have been made apparent.
b. We need that foundational dialogue to take place before we try to impose “solutions” to vaguely-outlined “problems”.


Share these with your folks.


Jim Reid

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