Denominational employment creates certain discomfort. Many think some move from the pastorate or staff of a local church to denominational posts to flee the “glass house.” Several friends have had or do serve denominational entities or institutions. Two of those men no longer do; a third does so with a bit more freedom than most.
Denominational leaders do not avoid the “glass house.” Instead those looking in tend to offer greater scrutiny than ordinary church members looking in on his or her pastor or staff. Maybe the accountability is greater due to the notion of greater responsibility. I am not sure a denominational “head” comes under greater accountability than a pastor.
However, some ascend the “heights” and assume their position of leadership carries immediate and immense trust by those they now serve.
I met Ed Stettzer Monday evening of the Annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. We (Me, Patty, Paul and Vera) were waiting for the beginning of the Young Leader meeting. Paul pointed out Ed and we took the step to introduce oursevles.
Ed learned where I served. He suggested I was one of the bloggers who had written some about him in evidently inglorious terms. I shared with Ed that I do not even recall ever making a reference to Ed Stetzer in a blog post much less writing anything considered less than encouraging about him.
He then wondered if I was “jvpastor.” I told him I was not. He suggested someone should talk to “jvpastor.” The inference was dissatisfaction over some things written. I do not believe jvpastor had ever written anything negative about Ed Stetzer. Ed then remembered. He said jvpastor had angered half ot the people with whom he worked. [The issue related to jvpastor’s concern over a video produced by NAMB to support the ’05 Annie Armstrong Offering for North American Missions. A concern with which I agreed.] I told Ed I was tired of young guys being disallowed a voice. I told him I would not “sit” on Jason. Working out thoughts and feelings is one of the benefits of writing. And, Jason actually e-mailed and talked with Bob Reccord about the matter. In fact, Dr. Reccord called Jason at home to discuss the issue. Just because they disagreed does not mean Jason should not be able to express his opinion.
After the conversation I thought about the whole issue that prompted Jason’s posts for which he is now infamous/famous with some. Jason was calling for accountability and the need to think through our “presentations.” This did not sit well then and unfortunately it must still be a sensitive subject.
Patty and I attended the SBC in part to see how the issue of accoutnability mgith be worked out. It we be next year before this question may be fully answered.
High profile leadership positions do not come with inherent trust. They do not provide a free pass from accountability.
I cannot think of one reason for which I might criticize Ed Stetzer. His “emerging church” taxonomy may be a good tool to consider current issues but also may be used to rigidly to “classify” people unfairly. But, as a missiologist, Ed is trying to get a handle on what church planters face and how they may be influenced by new “movements.”
Ed’s response to meeting us seemed to radiate a defensive climate created by recent actions by Trustee Boards, Agency Heads and Entity Presidentws. So, in somehat a playful way, I will be posting from time to time on Ed Stetzer. I do this so Ed might have a repreive from negative posts, unless I fall into the slippery slope myself. So as Ed Google’s his name from time to time to see who is writing what, maybe he will find something thoughtful and maybe humorous. Here’s to hoping this post may rise to the top of the famous search engine.
Great to meet you Ed!
[Written a few weeks ago but with computer difficulties is only now being added.]