Why did we only hear crickets coming from the GMC following last week’s Roe vs Wade controversial decision from the United States Supreme Court? Other leaders of denominations issued statements. World Leaders chimed in (most in outrage of the decision). So why was there nothing from our leaders? I shared on Facebook the statement from the Florida District Superintendent, Rev. Dale Shaeffer. It was very good. Why didn’t the Board of General Superintendents (BGS) issue something similar?
The standard line (or so I’ve been told) is that we are an international church and the General Superintendents do not speak into national matters. That’s why no statement was given condemning racism following George Floyd’s death or why there hasn’t been statements valuing life following any of the recent tragic school or church shootings.
They have spoken up before. After the Orlando Pulse night club shooting in June of 2016, the BGS issued a statement. You can read it here . That was 6 years ago, there have been numerous incidents since then in USA/Canada that warranted a similar statement, but we haven’t heard from the BGS. One time is not enough.
The General Superintendents are good people. I trust them. They are our friends. I know they hate racism, love life and are want the best for our church. We need to hear from them.
I don’t know the ins and outs of running a denomination. They are busy and it’s a difficult task. I’m just a pastor in Flint, Michigan. I only know pastoring churches. So, I will approach these matters as if the United States were a member of my church.
Let’s say I have 160 members of my church (The Church of the Nazarene is in 160 countries give or take a few). Suppose one of those members contributed somewhere around 94-96% of the income to my church. I would hope that I would treat the fat cat (no offense USA/Canada) the same as those 159 other members who gave little or were unable to give. I would hope that I would overlook their monetary contributions and the church’s near total dependence upon them. But I know, in reality, I wouldn’t be able to do it.
If there was a tragedy to that member, I would be the first person there. If they were experiencing joy, I would be joyous with them. I would want to know their concerns and if they got off track, I would hope as their pastor, I would lovingly steer them back. I would be keenly aware of the health and well-being of that member. That one member’s health would be essential for the health and well-being of everyone in the church. If that member died, the whole church would be in trouble.
I wish the Board of General Superintendents took a similar approach to USA/Canada. The six members of the BGS are all elders in the Church of the Nazarene. Treat USA/Canada like you would a member of a local church who is in trouble. The USA/Canada church might not be dying, but it’s hurting. We need the good words from our General Superintendents. We need them speaking into our situations and national events. We need them to model leadership and wisdom for the rest of us. We need to be able quote them and their strong words in our churches when crucial events take place. Yes, we have the manual, but we need the voices of our General Superintendents to help us.
Please no crickets. We need our Generals Superintendents to speak because we love and value their words. Like Paul in Acts 18, I pray our BGS has a vision from the Lord that says, “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you.” (Acts 18:9-10)