19 April 2023 |
There is a growing awareness among some Adventists that our organizational structure has outgrown and outlived its usefulness. While some find the structure to be serving them well, others are convinced that many roles and functions are ineffective and unnecessary. There have been long-standing concerns that the number of persons employed in administrative offices (General Conference, divisions, unions, conferences) is disproportionately large in relation to front-line workers. Some wonder whether we even need the multi-layered structure that we have inherited from our past.
Yet calls for restructuring and downsizing have gone unheeded for over 40 years.
Are we stuck with a top-heavy structure? Do we have to keep maintaining it despite its irrelevance and dysfunction? Are emerging generations of Adventists likely to support the institutional church as previous generations have done? What options, if any, are available to concerned members? What can we learn from other organizations about how bureaucracies change and reinvent themselves?
We will explore these and other questions as we identify measures that are available to address concerns about what some see as an ossified organizational structure while we also acknowledge the positive features about the church that merit celebration.
Raj Attiken is retired president of the Ohio Conference, and an adjunct professor at Kettering College.
Linda Nottingham is an alumna of La Sierra University. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband, Bud de Laurier, with whom she plays golf. She maintains a small consulting practice, and has recently taken up a late-life career in modeling where, she says, “the most important criterion is to look old.”
How to join:
One-click link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85680050724
ATSS starting time depends on where you are. If you’re on the west coast of the United States, it’ll be 10:30 AM. On the east coast, 1:30 PM. Please double-check the correct time where you live.
The class is intended to last about 2 hours, though the conversation often continues to 4 PM (Eastern time).
About our class:
- The AT Sabbath Seminar is intended to be a courteous forum. We discuss and ask questions politely. We don’t accuse, get angry, put people down, or judge the state of their salvation.
- Stick to the topic in both comments and chat discussion.
- Make your comments and questions short—don’t dominate.
- Keep your microphones muted unless you are called upon to make your comment or ask your question.
- Indicate your interest in speaking by raising your electronic hand—under the “reactions” button.
- Please use your name when you sign in! Not your phone number, not your initials. This will help us differentiate you from unwelcome guests who want to disrupt us. You can set your name after signing on by clicking on the 3 dots next to your picture, which drops down a menu.
We look forward to getting acquainted with you!
- Daniel Duda
- Bryan Ness
- Lindsey Painter
- Mathilde Frey
- Austin Archer
- Kevin Burton
- Laura Wibberding