The More They Overthink The Plumbing….

…the easier it is to stop up the drain.

This classic line is from Star Trek III The Search for Spock (5:10) where Scotty talks about how he stopped StarFleet from chasing them after they stole the Enterprise. This line also illustrates a classic truism of all complex organizations – namely that a large and complicated change effort can become derailed as a result of the process used to implement that change getting overwhelmed by something seemingly simple and innocuous.

One example of “something simple” in the current restructuring process is that the constitution of each member church has to be changed to one that is in keeping with the Synod 2.0 structure.

Here are the issues:

  1. Each member church will need to be convinced to make this change after Synod followed an “easier to get forgiveness than permission” change model. Doubtless a number of churches will dig in their heels and refuse to co-operate with Synod 2.0 simply on the grounds that they feel that Synod’s use of an lesser-known civil law to nullify parts of the LCC Constitution without a confirmation vote by the membership was illegitimate and not in keeping with a Synod that walks together.
  2. All revised constitutions will have to be approved by the Synod 2.0 BOD instead of by a committee of their local District. If enough churches change their constitutions towards the end of 2018 the Synod 2.0 BOD will get slammed with work right when they’ll have a myriad of other complicated issues to sort through before the mandated Jan 1, 2019 change-over.
  3. Given that Convention has mandated a change-over date of Jan 1, 2019 these amendments must be completed within the next 14 months. If a church requires two meetings to amend their constitutions and up-front time to work through the requisite changes to their constitution, I would estimate that the likelihood of this happening to be somewhere between slim to none.

And this is just one of the multitude of details that Synod 2.0 will have to work through in order to make restructuring work.  If nothing else I expect this will be yet another lesson on why restructuring efforts like this need to be taken in measured, incremental, clearly-defined steps and not in a rushed all-at-once manner we’ve seen here.

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