I know that this post will get some mad, but it has been on my mind for the few weeks and I have finally gotten around to writing it.
I realized not long ago one of the big problems that the Episcopal Church (and other denominations) has, and I really don’t think that we really notice it. It’s sad that it exist, and I am not exactly sure how to solve and change things.
The problem in the church is that for some of the clergy and the structure of the church is that clergy are looked upon as “Bosses” like Christianity is a business. The truth of the matter is that their really aren’t “bosses” in Christianity. Christianity is a religion that it has no bosses.
As I think upon what I have seen over the years, and have learned from the history of the church over the last 1,000 years, the church has really restructured itself from what Jesus brought to us. Yes religion does need structure in it so that it can run in the world we have today, but the truth of the matter is that the real true bosses in the church are the Laity. Think about it. A church without people in the pews for services really serves very little purpose.
I was in a congregation where there was a change of clergy. I sat and watched as those who came into the place had no real desire to listen to the people who were there, as they had their own agenda (this was more of the Laity than the clergy.) As this went on, I noticed fewer and fewer people coming for service and people began to pull me aside and vent as to how the “spirit” that the congregation had when they came and what kept them there was now gone. A number of them began to leave the church. As I tried to have conversations with the clergy, it became very apparent to me that even though they were willing to have the conversation, they (and the Laity who came in) clearly had little desire to do anything to try and keep those who had been there for decades. The last time that I saw any pictures from the congregation I knew that my no longer being there was the best thing for me.
But I think about the congregation that I am in now, and the other churches in the diocese that I am in now and the clergy that I have dealt with. It seems as though seminaries aren’t reminding those who are going through them that becoming ordained makes one the “Servant Of The People”.
I have watched clergy behave as though they are ones with superior knowledge over the Laity because they have a piece of paper that says that they are ordained. It seems as though many of the clergy seem to think that they have become the Chair of a billion dollar company, and treat the Laity as though they were simply employees.
What all of this it has helped in the divide that has happened in the church over the last 10 years. We have been so busy arguing about things with the encouragement of the clergy that we are spending less time trying to spread the Good News that has been brought to us.
We have become so preoccupied with arguing over who is right and who is wrong, we have forgotten to spend time reading our Bibles and getting an understanding in our own ways as to what God is trying to get into our heads.
But I am not saying that all of the clergy are like this, as there are many who realize that in reality we are all equals in the eyes of God. These clergy realize that in order for the church to survive, they can’t come across as the boss, and are willing to listen and hear what the Laity is saying and desiring.
Until the church as a whole realizes that it needs to rethink who and what it is, and I think to put Christ at the center of all that it does, then the church will begin to grow again. The church needs to stop going into communities thinking that it has all of the answers to save the people, but needs to come into the communities and listen and hear what the people are saying. One place that I know where this works is in Oakland, Ca, with Sacred Space. The people who go there on a regular basis are respected by the community because those who come to the community aren’t coming there with a “we are here to save you” attitude, but the community knows that the people coming are there to work with them to help to solve problems that are going on.
Who are the true Bosses of Christianity? The Holy Trinity.
Please leave comments below as to what you think.