Wednesday, February 4, 2009

rowing together

This morning i arrived at work to one piece of mail in my mailbox. I didn't have to read it to guess what was coming...
I guessed anyway.
An editorial on style or volume in the church, likely not favorable.


The article is knowledgeably constructed and actually included a great line
musicians- every one of them, including the singers-- are accompanists to the congregation's praise. - John G Stackhouse Jr.
I liked that...
but this is not a post about style or volume in the church.

This IS a post about communication in the church.

Toward the bottom of the editorial was an ever so delightfully highlighted paragraph which was probably the favorite "jab" of the copier.

It got me to thinking...
Why does a person rip an article out of a magazine, highlight it and put it anonymously in the box of anyone they want to make a change?
Who does this?
Even asking that question got me annoyed because my mind wandered to who it might be and now they are guilty without the opportunity to have a dialogue, which takes me back to my point.
Is this really effective communication?

In relationship we develop understanding, sharpen one another, grow together and we can develop the kind of trust required to disagree and support another leaders ability and responsiblity to make and live with the consequences of their choices. This doesn't happen in anonymous highlighted copied notes.
So, let's talk... let's listen and discuss things, at the risk of disagreeing and with respect for one another's roles and responsibilities.
Let's row together, rather than anonymously poking holes in one anothers canoes or stealing oars in the dark of night (you can highlight that line if you like).


Seth said...

You know, in British English, "row" can mean "fight". ;)

Obviously the person doesn't feel he'd get a fair hearing, so he's going with something from an authority. Why he doesn't expect to be heard, I can't say.

One of the points of that article was this:

"Do not compensate for mediocrity by amping it up to MEDIOCRITY."

We don't do either of those. It's a valid point, and I agree with it, but it doesn't apply here.

And don't we have three services?

I just realized this isn't about style or volume...your post, that is.

So, on to that topic. The anonymous article is akin to forwarding an email but making no particular comment on it. Maybe just "FYI". Or like whacking somebody on the forehead but not giving a reason for it.

Jenni Clayville said...

Oh... I'm sorry. I guess I should have called or made a face-to-face appt. I won't be this passive next time. It's just that I'm really shy about sharing my thoughts and ideas.

Anonymous said...

you can look for a blog post on this from myself very soon (early next week). as for now i'll just say i think we could always be louder and i'd love it more. anyone who thinks that loud doesn't reach my generation and quiet does...well we need to go on a field trip.

Yonas said...

That just seems too much work..ripping the article, highlighting it, then putting it your inbox!!

p.s. enjoyed the lunch with you guys (and the lamb shank!)

Anonymous said...

People communicate differently. Some prefer "Anonymous" :) Maybe they felt it was less confrontational / emotional to send you an article. Don't be too quick to judge.

Janet Fraser said...

dear anonymous :-)
i hear you, really i do.
I have to acknowledge that i am a "let's get in room and talk about it, kind of girl" and that not everyone is like that. I was trying not to judge but i was annoyed by the inability to have a dialogue and come to resolution.

which leads me to...

Seth- thanks for the challenge- "Obviously the person doesn't feel he'd get a fair hearing"
Good point. Somehow I (we) have to create a culture where people know we're open to discussion, that they won't be shut down or punished somehow because they express their opinion.

Janet Fraser said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GodSide said...

I have to confess I placed that in your box.

JK - My article would be on turning UP the volume ;)

Anyways...this reminds me of the email I received after mentioning the Shack in the main services. An older man decided to shoot me a couple of links of articles and people out there who thought the book was hertical. After a couple of back and forths I asked him if he had read the book himself...he said that he didnt. I told him at that point to go read the book and we could have an educated discussion on whether or not the book was hertical :)