Troubling Synod has a silver-lining

Raj Gupta

It is that time of the year again - synod.

For the past few years, I have been getting used to synod. I have been curious to observe each year our priorities, and this year is no exception.  If one knows how to navigate the paper warfare prior to synod, some of the issues for discussion become clear.

Some of the items on the business paper are just required because of the nature of synod. Others indicate a looking backward. Others indicate a looking forward. Some are about peripheral issues. Others have the potential to cut to the heart of matters that are significant to our future.

In my last post, I gave a brief summary of Jim Collin's book 'How The Mighty Fall.' It is not written about us, and it may not even apply. But in reflecting upon what has contributed to companies failing, Collins warns against looking for the silver bullet to attempt to change things quickly.

We have had our setbacks in recent years. We have not grown in ways that we might have liked (no matter how the numbers are analysed). And some feel that we have lost the financial base to move forward.

But Collins encourages:

the ability to come back from setbacks, even cataclysmic catastrophes, stronger than before. Great companies can fall and recover. Great social institutions can fall and recover. And great individuals can fall and recover.

The key is to resist radical change, resist hype, resist looking for a 'saviour-leader', and all the time looking to your fundamentals. 

In our case, I would suggest that our fundamentals are bringing people to Christ, and helping people grow in Christ.  (I might take this opportunity to say that the Mission Areas initiative seems to be one that has potential to help us in these areas).

The paperwork can only give some indication of what is in store this synod. Ultimately, and one of the good things about the synod process, is that the energy of those involved has a part to play in determining what is significant.
I, for one, hope we can leave the issues of past financial disappointments in the past. I hope that we won't become engrossed in largely internal matters.

What is it that you think synod should spend its limited time deliberating on?