Sunday, July 17, 2011

polity is brilliant

Good polity anyway.

When Andrew graduated from MTC, he came back to Qld to do a year of study to turn him into a Presbyterian minister. One of the subjects he had to study was church polity. I remember huffing and puffing about it. Waste of time, etc.

I don't think so anymore.

This week I've been reading about (another) ministry disaster. Not so disastrous as some (no immorality or money involved) but big and public and messy. And understandable. With this particular set of circumstances, it is obvious that this would have happened sooner or later.

Of course, individuals are responsible for their own words and actions, but in this case they weren't helped by the fact that the church's government was woefully inadequate. There has to be a formal system whereby complaints can be heard and ministers can be corrected by their peers or superiors. There has to be checks and balances in place so that one person is not required to carry too great a load of responsibility or to hold too much power.

This is what well thought out polity is about. It is often what is neglected when a ministry grows very quickly. I think polity should be put in the Christian Thought bag (with doctrine and church history) and given a thorough look at at theological college.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sorry...just had some second thoughts about what I wrote. Maybe not that helpful. But essentially I agree with you.