2×2 has often commented on the Church’s ability to accept — even celebrate — failure. Ministries are allowed to exist in decline for decades, often with the same pastor, as things get worse and revenues dwindle until there is no more money to pay for failure or make long overdue changes.
It is inexplicable, but the Church follows the same pattern over and over. Year after year, budgets must be cut and services slashed, but we stick with the same leadership as if asking for better performance is a betrayal.
SEPA Synod just followed the familiar road. Six years of budget struggles. Six years of expensive law suits (all of which could have been avoided). Six years of decline. And SEPA Synod re-elected leadership on the FIRST ballot.
Were there no options? Was the mess too much for someone else to take on? Are people happy existing in failure? Do all the small churches in SEPA think that they are suddenly going to have more options and better accountability?
Or does everyone feel it’s hopeless—as some have expressed to us?
Redeemer has been denied a voice for four years (an issue we consider still open, since Synod Assembly never addressed our appeal on this issue). We have no voice in the Church by decree of the bishop SEPA reelected.
We will continue to watch from the outside as our ministry continues unrecognized by SEPA but effective all the same.
It doesn’t look like there’s much to celebrate for the next six years as ministry numbers will probably continue to decline across the board. We hope not! But . . . Lutherans have spoken. They like it this way!