Friday, May 21, 2010

Management vs. Ministry: The Genius of Mormonism

The LDS Church handles "management" largely from the hierarchical, official, formal Priesthood structure of the Church and the ministering (both giving and receiving) from the more lateral, local lay structure of the Church. The global leadership, after all, is understood primarily to be "witnesses of Christ" - not "ministers" in the classic sense.

I think if you asked the vast majority of active members, they would say that they feel the ministering structure is in place; the real question is whether it actually occurs in any given ward or branch. While there is "doctrinal power" in the centralized and correlated global hierarchy, frankly, I believe most of the "practical power" in the Church resides in the local units. Most of the serious difficulties likewise reside there, imo. The power delegated to the lay ministry - extended throughout and shared by nearly all active membership - is both the genius and the dysfunctionality of the Church, I believe.

1 comment:

Clean Cut said...

"Both the genius and the dysfunctionality of the Church"

Well said. There's an inherent tension here, and I think it explains a lot.