LMI: thinking it through
Governance of the Anglican Church is inherited from an era when time was cheaper, communications costly, and clergy were often the best educated people in the parish. Now we have both highly educated clergy and highly educated laity. Laity have obtained very specialised skills that are necessary to serve in contemporary organisational structures. These organisations must use best practice in systems and technologies to harness skills for productive economic effect and survive. Most of these are skills don’t easily fit within the scope of traditional parish ministries. The role, education and function of the clergy has not changed so much, but the role, education and function of laity has changed remarkably. Furthermore, market forces have compelled governance of commerce to evolve for efficiency and effectiveness. Governance of our Church has not. We function well below our potential!
Given the sheer weight of lay numbers compared with clergy numbers, and the diverse operational and governance skills of the laity that have potential to complement the Word-ministry skills of the clergy, it’s clear that the initiative for solving the operational ministry and governance needs of the Church are most likely to come from the laity. Our Word-ministry has not failed, but our lay-ministry has! We lay-people have not brought our skill into service of the gospel.
It has suited the traditional expectations of both clergy and laity to leave these problems for the clergy to solve, but in our contemporary situation the evidence suggests that the clergy cannot do it on their own. We laity must step-up, and bring our wealth of skills and resources to the aid of ministry or stand-by and watch our Church go into rapid decline. The clergy will shortly start losing their jobs, and enrolments at Moore College decline, unless they urgently encourage and equip the laity to take responsibility for growth, and laity take the initiative to do so. There needs to be a lay ministry initiative (LMI)!
The proposed mechanism for doing this is embodied in a document called, ‘LMI Foundational Concepts’, which is currently in the hands of a number of theologians and other specialists for review and sign-off, before presenting it to Archbishop Glenn Davies for his consideration on 19 August 2014, and if accepted, his patronage. I intend to make this document available to you at that time.
If you would you like to support this with prayer and interest please choose this link to join the IU2U Friends network, “Friends of IU2U“.
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