Presbyterians love decently and in order so much that it could be argued that this is one of our essential tenets!
Here's the thing.
What has decently and in order gotten us? How has the whole decently and in order thing been working out for the presbyterians?
- The last time we've had a growth year as a denomination was 1960's.
- The last time we baptized more than we bury was decades ago.
- The denomination went from 6 million strong in the 60's to less than 2 million today while the population of the US has almost tripled.
How exactly is this decently and in order thing working out for presbyterians?
Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that doing things decently and in order is the reason for the decline.
What I am saying is that when doing things decently and in order trumps everything else, we get where we are.
There are times when things are changing so rapidly, where life is happening so rapidly, where exemptions are necessary for the health and vitality of a church that we've got be willing to put the ministry of Christ above doing things decently and in order.
I am all for decency and order. But that can't be the ultimate priority for a church. The mission, the ministry come first. Decently and in order is the normal rule, but there are plenty of times when normal doesn't apply.
They are called exceptions. And it's okay to have exceptions to the rule. That's life.
When decently and in order trumps ministry and mission, a church will be run decently and in order all the way to irrelevancy and eventual her death.
When that happens, decently and in order is crap.