This Week’s Reading, June 23
This Week’s Reading
With Richard Bass
June 23, 2017
Inspired by a new post by Jason Micheli on Robert’s Rules of Order, we’ll look at rules, and rule breaking, this week. Both articles come from Ministry Matters, a website from the United Methodist Publishing House you should know. It’s full of interesting insights and resources for and from churches. This week’s articles look at what happens when rules that support institutions get in the way of movements…and what to do about it.
Jason Micheli, “Robert’s Rules Is Not Holy Conferencing.”
The Methodist Church adopted a secular means of deliberation in the industrial age at the same time the Methodist Church was adopting bureaucratic denominational and congregational structures that intentionally mirrored the corporate practices of the time, which produced, as my friend and mentor Dennis Perry says, “a conflation of effectiveness with efficiency, so that we now care more about process than outcomes to the point that our outcome is our process.”
Gil Rendle, “Rules for Rule Breaking.”
Rule breakers will want to consider criteria for breaking rules since there should be as much discipline in breaking rules as in following them. Retired Lt. General James Dubik offered his own discipline for breaking rules. He noted the three questions that he used as to discern right action in such situations. The three questions are:
What is the purpose of the rule?
Is this rule still appropriate?
Does the rule serve or prevent the mission?
Aside from its insights on rules, I included Gil’s piece because it tells the story of what he describes as “one of my favored memories of my time on staff at the Alban Institute.” I was there, and it’s one of mine too: A conversation about the best books put to worst purposes. The Bible, of course, came out on top.