TAALC 2016 Convention
The American Association of Lutheran Churches (TAALC) met in convention June 20–24, 2016 in Minneapolis. It is always a delight to renew face-to-face relationships. This convention was no exception.
I am not going to comment on the entire convention—too much! Rather I want to look at the convention proceedings from the perspective of Churchmanship.
I have observed and participated in my share of church meetings and church conventions over the past 40 years. In that time some congregational meetings lasted 4+ hours with little accomplished. Some large conventions were better organized and at least accomplished some good.
And yet… it does seem that the larger the meeting the more Robert’s Rules of Order take center stage. When that happens, order prevails but many times of genuine discussion and exchange is unintentionally pushed aside.
Now almost a month later and with much time in reflection I would summarize the convention as an excellent example of Churchmanship, in particular by Presiding Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Curt Leins. He was ably assisted by two people: the Rev. Joe Dapelo, Admin Assistant to The AALC, and by the appointed parlimentarian, Mark Borchers. Business of the convention was handled efficiently. But there was more to it than following proper guidelines.
One of the key issues facing the convention was a resolution to change a specific section of the Constitution Bylaws. A particular approach to ministry had been set up early in the history of our church body. It could have been a very divisive resolution and process to change. But that did not happen.
After the reading of the resolution, Dr. Leins allowed discussion for everyone to examine all aspects of it. In fact, he allowed time in three different convention sessions to address concerns. This approach allowed everyone to discuss, everyone to be heard, and time for answers to questions. It was fine leadership on Dr. Leins’ part and an example of what Churchmanship can be, should be.
We offer Pastoral Leadership classes in our seminary. How helpful for them to see the principles of churchmanship demonstrated in real life words and actions. Our seminarians can learn much about leadership and churchmanship by observing this example and other elected leaders. These examples demonstrate that God can use His people to accomplish His will in a God-pleasing way and helpful for the leaders and the entire church body.