Thursday, February 24, 2011
How Political Correctness Wins
- First, secularization has caused many churches to lose a sense of their supernatural mission.
- Second, pastors are afraid of being disliked.
- Third, pastors are fearful that they will be labeled intolerant.
I get in trouble here sometimes for complaining about how many people want to get paid to do ministry, but cannot help but observe that such lies at the root of this. The fear cited is not, I don't think, a fear of being disliked - it is a fear of losing parishioners which means the church is less "successful" and the pastors earning power lessened.
This, then, speaks to several important issues. We need to restore a higher bar to church leadership and especially paid leadership. We need the kind of people that are mature enough to overcome such temptation to fear. We also need leadership that is deft enough to register objection to political correctness in a loving manner - no small matter that.
We need to change how we measure success - tempting though it is to think so, it is not butts in pews and dollars in the plate. Yes, success will likely result in those things, but using them as metrics makes it to easy to shoot for the metrics instead of what underlies them. Indirect measurement of anything is a tricky thing.
Thirdly, we have to raise up lay leadership. It is my considered opinion that if all discover their sense of ministry and calling and understands that such is not unique nor tied to remuneration that those who do get paid will have their burden eased considerable and the temptation to shoot for numbers will be reduced.
As Orsi makes plain here there is more at stake than simply the church. As the church dies, society becomes less.