Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Leadership, Who, Why, and When?

For the benefit of Mr. E. Coy I have, I hope, identified myself to the satisfaction of all. No secrets. The following contribution is from my husband, Cec—short for Cecil. As in Cecil L. Moon:

One of the great current occupations of the membership and the priesthood of late is isolating the problems of our beleaguered group. There is no question that we have problems, but all too often they are misidentified. We often suffer from category error in our attempt to give definition to that which we seek, and the actual will of God. Our thwarted goals are also amplified by the inherent qualities of those who seek to give a name to the problems. Many of those on both sides of the various issues are in themselves, good and spiritual people. Many of these wonderful people would be invited to share the fellowship of almost any congregation and enjoy the company of other good people. As a result, I have come to believe we need to redefine that which we seek in leadership. What is our goal for theses leaders? What are God’s purposes for them?

We would all be ecstatic if, at some august gathering, it was revealed by the dramatic arrival of a personage, that we were to benefit by having a prophet, a first presidency, a bevy of apostles and a fully filled-out spiritual hierarchy with the assurances of God Almighty that they were indeed His choice to continue the work. If that were to happen, I would throw my backing of these men my full throated voice and vigorous support. It could happen. I have a firm belief that God can do anything He wishes and that it would be to my benefit to enjoy the fruits of His decisions. Barring that, I must take my lessons from Christ, who managed to handle some everyday problems with miraculous application. At the wedding feast he was the welcome guest who did not allow the party to be dampened by the lack of wine. On the shores of Galilee, He was the gracious host who provided the sustenance to the multitude from the loaves and fishes. The Son of God was more than willing to rise to the occasion and handle the mundane chores of life. Neither of these examples involved great spiritual enlightenment. They involved service to people whom He loved. Should we do less? I am sure the people in the examples were greatly enhanced by His actions. Some may even have seen the spiritual aspects.

We have every day activities which need to be accomplished by our greater church body which would enhance many avenues of the ministry being offered. The nuts and bolts of administration and the coordination of ministry are needed, after consultation with the Lord, to further the faith. Much of this is now accomplished by many devoted people in the CRE. Much of it is not. If you can easily answer the following questions, you may tell me that I am barking up the wrong tree and ignorant of the workings of the church:

l. How many baptisms occurred in 2006? 2005?
2. How do we reach every priesthood member in the Las Vegas Branch? How many members are there? Grain Valley? Holden? Etc.
3. What are the financial responsibilities of the branches to the central church?
4. How many members filed a tithing statement in 2006? 2005?
5. What steps are we, as a body, taking to formulate a Sunday School curriculum? Is it based on Restoration Gospel or boilerplate from a publisher?

You get the idea. This is information which should be available to each and every member, completely and correctly upon legitimate inquiry. These are largely temporal matters and yes they benefit in their implementation from consultation with God as do all matters in the lives of the Saints, but they are still temporal. Could we benefit from having an organizational structure in place? Could we benefit from having a CEO/president/director? Could we benefit from having a strong corporate face with leadership and resources?
The importance of organization is stressed by the Lord many places throughout scripture. It starts with the admonition: . . . for where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matt. 18:20) Does it then follow that if we are duly organized, He will then gather with us and the furtherance of the Kingdom will be at hand? It appears that the loftier offices, being spiritual in nature, are the province of the Lord. Those men who actually aspire to these offices probably lack the humility to function properly within them. We have a demonstrable history within the church to back this up. The age-old saw about getting the cart before the horse may indeed, be appropriate here.

3 comments:

Seeker said...

I'll address Comment # 7 under "It Must Be Said" here in "Leadership" since this is what it addresses. The "questions" in the "Leadership" post were rhetorical and merely underscore the myriad problems in the administration, or lack thereof, in the church today. They do not intend to diminish the hard work that goes on daily by people such as Joy and others like her. But I believe that in order to evangelize effectively we need to organize. It seems to me that, if we are so eager to take up the RLDS name again, we should at least live up to the first word in the title. That is what Cec is pointing out. I hope this clears things up a little.

Seeker said...

Dearest Sister Joy,

This is Cecil responding. Since I am internet impaired my good spouse
posted “Leadership, Who, Why and When?” for me. Since this is all new to
both of us (she’s better than I) we will probably mess up on occasion.

After spending well over an hour in the CRE office with you and your
volunteer, and having the absolutely inspiring experience of meeting you
in person, I must say I am in awe of you and your efforts. Please, please
do not misinterpret my remarks to indicate even the remotest criticism of
your contribution to CRE, the missionary efforts, and the goals of the
church as a whole.

The purpose of posting the questions was rhetorical. They were meant to
demonstrate that an organization who does not know who they are, what
progress is being made, what their fiscal capacity is and where they are
going, may be in serious trouble. Yes, subsequent to our conversation I
was able to assemble a mailing list for the pastors and enjoy a 90%
delivery success. The other 10% were returned unclaimed. The list I used
(available from Price Publishing) you happily furnished and for that I
thank you. The paragraph prior to the questions showed examples of Jesus’
regard for mundane but necessary aspects of every day life. He,
throughout the NT has demonstrated lessons for us that we may apply to our
daily lives. The really important questions were in the paragraph
following.

Since I apparently lacked clarity when I asked the questions I shall try
to restate the case. Do we need a structural organization for the church
to marshal our resources, both human and physical, to form a platform from
which we might better reach the spiritual levels we all desire so much?
You personally, and your volunteers, do yeoman duty to promote the lofty
goals of the church. The last question need not be rephrased but, rather,
repeated: Could we benefit from having a strong corporate face with
leadership and resources? These are the questions which count.

No corporation of several thousands of people would expect one lone person
to manage all the record keeping, contacts, and information sharing which
would be required. If anyone knows this well, it is you, Sister Joy. I
too want the branches organized, but, I want the multitude fed before the
preaching starts.

Book of Mormon Warrior said...

I am new to the Restoration, but not the Book of Mormon. I was raised LDS and served a mission for the Mormon church in Argentina. I do have to take issue with the organize then evangelize POV that Cecil seems to take. It seems to me as a newbie we spend too much time focusing on the past issues and organizing, and that the mission work is being carried out by just a few dedicated men. My feeling is the opposite, I feel we need to focus on spreading the gospel message and missionary endeavors and let the Lord work out the details of organizing the church or putting it in order when He deems it is the time. I feel we don't need a corporate face to do effective missionary work in or communities and cities. My feeling is people too often look for an organization because they need someone upper up to tell them what they can and can't do. I don't mean to offend anyone, these are just my own rablings. May God bless you all.

BOMW