- In the messages I posted earlier I suggested
that our leaders, who are our bishops and priests, can
perform better if they are relieved of all the
administrative responsibilities. I cited an example from
the Old Testament--the advice given by Jethro to Moses.
Now I would like to cite another example.
This time from the New Testament. At the infancy of the
Christian churh, the apostles were in charge of
everything. But as the church began to grow in
number, they couldn't simply handle all the various
responsibilities. That is when the apostles decided to
appoint a new set of leaders to share their
responsibilities--the seven deacons. The
apostles handed over all the administrative
matters to them, and said, "We will engage ourselves in
prayer and in preaching the word".
The apostles believed that praying and
teaching the word of God had a higher priority over the
internal administration of the community.
Today we would like our bishops and priests
say just as the apostles said then: "We will
free ourselves for prayer and for teaching the
Word of God. Let some others take care of all
the administraive matters."
- I agree with you on an ideological level. But administration of a
church like organization is much more complex now than the biblical
times. I suspect that many of our bishops and priests will choose the
administrative responsibility over the preaching responsibility if
given a "one or the other" choice.
If we have an elected or appointed group of administrators for
managing and running the organization, who will they report to? If
they report to the bishops and priests, then we are back to square
one. i.e., Now the bishops are expected to manage the administrators.
-- Abe George, Washington
- Well, I like the comments by both Kunnathu and Abe.
Leadership yeah, we are in a leadership crisis. The word "episkopa" means
overseer. Church ministry is three fold: priestly, prophetic and diakonal
(service). Priestly- equals liturgy, prophetic equals standing for justice,
and diakonal for serving the poor and the needy. Apostles did it, Jethjro
gave that advice to his son-in-law for effective administartion of the fold.
I beleive hierarchy is insecure at this point. Or there is an insecurity
feeling covers over them that they are all after material possessions. For
example instead of delegation powers we are still concentrating powers at
the center. The centralized administration is good but concentraion of power is
not good. No theology can support it.
Different offices and portfolios shall be developed and everything shall be
done in a coordinated fashion. Our constitution is an example of it.
Diocesan funds (monies)shall be deposited in the name of the duiocesan
metropolitsn (Article 53). It is high time to make chnages, not that any
bishop will misuse their funds but for clarity. Not olny that sometimes
yes-men can manipulate them.
For example, the Diocese of America collected funds for diocesan center,
where is that money deposited and how, personal name or in the name of the
I believe all bishops shall be out of the financial managemnt of the church
and so is the case with priest. Both bishops and priest shall be fully
supported by the church and take their insecurity away. They hold on to
money because of insecurity.
Opposing view points welcome.
- Dear Abe:
Thanks for participating in the discussion, and
contributing your ideas.
I agree with you. The administration of the
present-day church is much more complex than the biblical
church. Therefore we need a much more effective
leadership. The apostles could solve their problem just by
appointing the seven deacons. But that wouldn't be enough
If many of our leaders would choose administration
oven praying and preaching, that would be because they
lack the vision that the apostles had and the wisdom that
Jethro had. I think we are fortunate to have leaders like
Fr.Pyngolil , who maintain the vision of the apostles. We
hope many more leaders will soon join this group, and
declare along with the apostles that they would give
priority to their real responsibilities.