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“From ‘Ekklesia’ to Something Else: Church Organization and How It Changes over Time” – David Thomas

Date: October 17, 2015

Speaker: Dr. David Thomas

Position: Dean, School of Theology, Walla Walla University

Topic: “From ‘Ekklesia’ to Something Else: Church Organization and How It Changes over Time”

Venue: Chan Shun Hall

Attendance: 36 [competition with GC-sponsored Ellen G. White Symposium]

Presentation: SDA Church is moving from “ekklesia” (a community of believers) to an authoritarian structure using business-like language, not “body language”. Movements follow 5 stages (entrepreneurial, growth, maturity, decline, crisis). Change in Church is hindered by promoting loyalists, a large infrastructure, organizational entropy, funding infrastructure rather than mission, replacing volunteers with paid professionals, & rise of administrative power (policy makers replace visionaries, hierarchy replaces volunteerism, coercion replaces free will, orthodoxy replaces spectrum of thought). As the Church becomes more of a corporation, can the Holy Spirit continue to work through it?

 

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