The change in leadership at the General Conference and in our local conferences is too abrupt. Given the complexity of the ongoing regular and legal issues that organizations face, and given the enormous ongoing business functions of our conferences and congregations, the times, season and reason demand that an orderly transition is carefully and prayerfully considered.
In each local and union conference, the divisions and the General Conference itself, active leadership can change hands in a moment. Out with the old and in with the new in little more than a flash, is the current method employed by all of our organizations. The responsibility is immediately handed to the newly elected leader and the previous leader is out of office almost unceremoniously, with little or no formal structured and orderly transfer of the reins.
At the time of abrupt transition there are some less than complimentary incidences that can leave in their wake, deep abiding wounds and unresolved issues in the minds and hearts of wives and families that can last for generations. In too many instances, the generally accepted political processes of our Church only allows for “back door, undercover and sometimes underhanded dealings” to bring about change. In the end, these practices hurt people and, this is not to mention the damage that is done to the mission and perceptions of our Church, especially among those who are recent converts to the faith.
There are two possible actions that can be taken that may forestall the previous observations, especially in Regional Conferences. (i) Term Limits and (ii) A 60-day Transition period and orderly handing over of the reins of leadership.
Term Limits because no matter how well a leader does, after a time the “young and the restless” begin to pick at the weaknesses (and everybody has weaknesses). If continued, over a period of time all of the strengths and good works are forgotten and the weaknesses are remembered for generations. Term Limits would seriously contest the very human temptation to perpetuate ones self in office because “I have not yet completed my work.”
Regarding A 60-day Transition Period. It would seriously diminish the embarrassment and feelings of rejection and hurt that surely comes with the failure to return to office. Even if the newly elected and the outgoing leader, because of the generally accepted political process, have become adversaries, the transition period, under the power of the Holy Spirit,
would give them time to make amends and go to the next assignment with dignity and Christian peace.
The second blessing would be the time needed for the newly elected to get a handle on the ongoing personnel issues and business matters that should be addressed in a calm and cooperative atmosphere. It must be said here that all changes in leadership are not adversarial. But even when they are not, ‘Isn’t It Time We Take A Little More Time?’