Denomination as Mother or as Child?

I lifted my comments from Don Warrington’s post on the Reallocation of the Tithe of Tithe.  I think the perspective will show the challenges we face.  I hear much talk of the denomination “resourcing the local church.” Actually, the local church has resourced the denomination for decades.  Because of significant waste, the denomination is far behind the output of the local church when it comes to the resourcing actually being done.  And, much of the resourcing being done by the denomination is work done by others and rebranded with COG nomenclature…hardly worth the investment of resources when its already available elsewhere.

My comments on Don Warrington’s blog entry were in response to the concern that the cut is going to go back into funding “maintenance” of the local church. My response reads as follows:

If the local monies go into maintenance of the local church, it is still an improvement over the maintenance of a too controlling bureaucracy.

One would have to admit that the size and power of our overly-centralized bureaucracy has led to abuse of one too many good men.  Men who are on the payroll of the COG bureaucracy use the funds of the local church to travel all over the world savaging the reputations of local church pastors.  If that kind of activity is defunded, that is reason enough for me.

Those sentiments aside, I have found that strong, controlling parents are beneficial while the child is young.  As the child grows, the parent must release the child.  If the denomination is the mother and the local church is the child, we have controlled many of our children (churches) into overdependency on mom…time to trust the child to take some independent steps and enjoy the relational connection more than be under the authoritarian relationship.

I have come to believe that the most beneficial analogy is that the denomination is actually the child and the local church is the mother.

And, if this is the case, we have come to the place where the child has remained dependent on the mother for too long.  The child is too fat, too irresponsible, too dependent on the mother.

By removing the child from the bottle, the child will be forced to grow up, be more responsible, and accept more responsibility for its own future without demanding more coddling from the ever resourcing mother (local church).

COG denominational structure, it’s time to man up and lose the comfort of your cushion and remember why you were birthed.


3 Responses

  1. Travis,

    I Love the organic nature of this post, but I’m not sure I can see the denomination as either the parent or the child…not to discount your points because they are powerful.

    I guess I am looking at it from a clinical perspective in which it seems to me more like a co-dependant couple with the local church as the enabler. I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh, its just one of many perspectives. Hopefully, we can break the cycle without the local church feeling guilty or the denomination losing empowerment for the good that it should be providing.

  2. Good thoughts, Darrell. Here’s some more:

    Biologically and historically, the denomination was birthed following the rapid advancement of the local church after decrees that we wouldn’t be a denomination. Historically and biologically (according to the cellular development of the COG), the denomination is the child.

    Perhaps, the relationship has developed into something else such as the denominational structure as the Polit Bureau (Mother Russia) as was off-handedly and jokingly referenced at Engage 21.

    I can’t imagine our current state was as intentioned…I like the way things are developing and how we are coming back into being more focused on the main business.

  3. Thanks Travis, I can see your perspective a little better now.

    I absolutely agree with the last paragraph. I too am greatly encouraged by the way things are developing…a little concerned still, but greatly encouraged.

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