I have a mental image of an older ministry specialist who’s been around the block many times.
Could be a pastor, professor or other ministry professional like myself.
Let’s say the person is male.
He has a certain way of doing things that the organization has left behind or never embraced in the first place.
To protect his interests, the specialist carves out his own domain and rules it with an inflexible hand.
By many standards of measure, such as participation from lay people, spiritual growth, conversions, etc., success is evident.
Additionally, the man has a small cult following of loyalists who share his passion, philosophy and methods.
How does the organization (church, seminary, college or parachurch) respond?
Despite the man’s success, in the bigger picture the organization is hindered from moving forward until he leaves or retires.
But that could be another 10-15 years.
Decision time for the organization: Removing the man would come at great cost. His devotees might lash out in anger and rebellion.
Financial support could be lost.
A major confrontation would be necessary. Could be a messy scene and involve publicity, a review board, appeals . . .
Is it worth it?
I’ll offer an opinion next week.
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