Thinking Anglicans

opinion

Rachel Harden, the Church of England’s Deputy Director of Communications, writes about Blogging Faith.

Alex Willmott If you can’t lead a church, don’t lead a church

Kevin P Emmert Christianity Today New Poll Finds Evangelicals’ Favorite Heresies

Kelvin Holdsworth Becoming a Welcoming Cathedral

Pat Henking “Priestly Formation” is a Term that Really Bugs Me!

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Rod GillisjnwallThe Rev'd Mervyn NootePluralistJohn Recent comment authors
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Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Re Alex Willmott’s article, anyone who has spent any time at all in the institutional church knows that there are clergy who should never have been ordained, or at least placed in parish ministry. Sadly there are more than enough examples of clergy who leave a trail of bruised,dysfunctional and conflicted communities in their wake. However,in terms of making a contribution to understanding the relationship between church leadership and church decline, Willmott’s piece is pretty much amateur hour. And, his routine is neither new nor innovative. Clearly, as a major western social institution, the churches of the reformation are in… Read more »

Pam
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Pam

I agree with Kelvin’s post. When we join any group, other than the church, it is an individual choice. But with church we are called into community. It’s difficult, though, to jettison the individuality at times and ‘fit in’. All types of people come to church and it’s a challenge I would guess for most pastors to find people their place.

rjb
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rjb

I find Alex Willmott’s piece so exasperating that I actually find it very hard to assess whether he might actually, underneath all that wrong-headed bluster, possibly have something like a point. His idea that the church is anything like a commercial enterprise and that the kind of leadership skills demanded of a CEO are the same that we should look for in a priest is so misguided that I can only sincerely hope that he is not in holy orders himself. The secular model of ‘leadership’ favoured in boardrooms and executive suites these days is the very last thing that… Read more »

John
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John

Intellectually, I agree almost completely with Rod Gillis’ second paragraph. The disagreement: it’s not just the Reformation churches. Major problem, however: most existing Christians don’t assent to this analysis. Lesser problem, intellectually, rejigging Christian basics in a more credible direction. Ergo, the task is to make Christianity more intellectually credible, while keeping as many existing Christians as possible on board. Paradoxically, I believe, that is best done by maintaining the Eucharist as key Christian service, while allowing very considerable divergence in its interpretation.

Pluralist
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It was funny reading the ‘heresies’ of American evangelicals. As if it makes the slightest difference whether you sign on that particular dotted line or not as promoted by that website. None of it explains anything about the workings of the world we live in anyway.

The Rev'd Mervyn Noote
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Can someone explain to Alex Wilmott what preaching Christ crucified means?

jnwall
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jnwall

Wilmott may not have the right model for a healthy parish, but most of the commenters here seem willing to abandon any sense of accountability for the ordained ministry. Surely there are sufficiently well-understood signs of a healthy congregation for assessment to be a worthwhile activity in a congregation. I am familiar with a parish where the rector has convinced the vestry that their job is not to care for the health of the congregation but to provide her with unquestioning job security. There has been no assessment of the effectiveness of leadership or of the health of the congregation… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

@ jnwall, I don’t think that’s it. If Alex Willmott argued, as some others have, how conventional ministry models must be replaced with new and described innovative ones, then he could expect to get a hearing. Instead he presents as a vague anecdotalist with an ax to grind. He telegraphed his haymaker with the opener, ” An open letter to U.K. churches from a nobody”. A nobody? Cry me a river. Church decline is rooted in the disparate and perhaps irreconcilable differences in beliefs and mores between traditional Christianity and the wider society in western democracies. The decline is altering… Read more »