I have been quite saddened by the recent dismissal of Paul Johnson from our National Office. For those of you who don’t know Paul and his work. He has represented our church ecumenically and internationally for the last seven years and he has done a fabulous job. Folks I know in the ecumenical community expressed their shock and sense of loss that our church would dismiss someone who has been such a gift.
So I am back reflecting on how we treat people. We need more then just a hoped for improvement, I think it is time we took some pretty concrete steps addressing how we treat our workers from the ground up.
So what if we gathered some people who can begin to improve how we treat people, especially those who work professionally for the church. What if we gave them a mandate to look at the whole process: From recruitment, development, training, pay, working conditions, job expectations, support, continuing education, how we dismiss/transfer/promote people. What if we look at how our workers develop and thrive spiritually. Perhaps we need to even look into the very idea of professional church workers . . .
What if we this group was made up of people who are largely not already a part of the system and thus can look at with the new eyes of an outsider. What if we had people dedicated to ensuring we had the best and happiest workers, instead of insuring things as they have been. Oh sure have a pastor or a bishop to give some context. Lets fill the group with those who have expertise in human resources, in psychology, recruitment, management. In other words those who have been called and equipped to care for people and help them share their gifts in the most effective and manner healthy.
For the people God has called to serve the church are a precious and important gifts God has given us. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these folks could thrive, share their gifts to the fullness. Image if people would again proudly say that working for the church is a wonderful, life giving calling, filled with opportunity and joy.