Saturday, October 01, 2011

Why Can't You Just Talk?!

It's been a blast from the past - I've been watching a programme about one of my favourite groups from a decade ago - "Steps". 2001 was one of the worst years of my life. My beloved grandmother died. A close friend (almost like a second mum to me) died suddenly from cancer. I was finishing my degree in nursing with all the stresses that brought - and then the group who's music I loved split up suddenly! You may laugh - but their Christmas break up has scarred Christmas's since for me. ;-)

The programme is a four-part but it's an interesting concept. The band members split ten years ago and haven't been in the same room since apparently since. The programme is filming them sitting together for the first time and working through some of the issues which clearly still traumatize some of them. The girls especially frequently break down in tears. Time - it seems - isn't always a healer as I know too well!

What's my point? The "Steps" programme just made me reflect and realise that much of the problems, trials, troubles that have caused me heartache, grief, pain, nightmares and sleepless nights over my lifetime could have all be sorted out by "talking". More than that - on a wider sphere, thousands of pounds (I believe) could be saved by "talking". Even wars could have been stopped maybe sometimes by "talking"! Isn't that the point of the United Nations? To try and prevent wars?

Look at prominent celeb preacher C J Mahaney. So much of his prophetic-ministry preaching career focusing on the Cross of Christ has been momentarily forgotten with the interest and focus on his high-profile splits with Brent Detweiler ([the 'Documents' would never have had to have gone out if they could have sat together surely?) and Josh Harris. Thousands of pounds potentially are being spent in outside mediators - which seems a massive disgrace to the Person of Jesus Christ and the gospel. Why can't they just sit down and "talk"?

SGM are starting to move into the mediation process with all those that have fallen out with them - and the reconciliation process seems very formal. The agreement involves signing a form that disallows any of the discussions from being used in a court of law. What shocked me again was the costs involved in this process. Ambassadors of Reconciliation costs are as follows;

"Our consulting fees are charged at $150.00 per hour for actual consultation and preparation time, plus expenses. A daily maximum of $1,200.00 applies when hours exceed 8 per day. A weekly maximum of $6,000.00 applies when hours exceed 40 hours in one seven-day continuous period of time".

As Brent Detweiler said, "Getting rid of specks is expensive". Two thoughts occur to me;

1. Do these AoR costs apply to just one individual? Or to each person who has a grievance with SGM?

2. Is SGM footing the bill for this? Surely this is going to be a STAGGERING amount of money spent from people's tithes!

I say again - why can't we all just sit down and talk? It wasn't easy at all pursuing reconciliation with my SGM situation in the UK. I didn't know whether the SGM pastors would be hostile or happy to see me. They had asked to see a copy of the agenda and I feared I would be crucified yet again. If they had stuck to their guns and insisted they had done nothing wrong - I doubt I would be now enjoying the peace and joy I have and the renewed relationships with them. The only external party was my dear friend Pete Day who came to support me out of his own time and costs. I guess from their point of view, they didn't know how receptive I would be either - we had to take a risk!

This money should be going to reach the lost! To spread the gospel! To help the poor! To plant churches!

Rant over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Q. How about rather than continue to spend $10′s of thousands of dollars, vast amounts of time and energy, meetings without end…..all at the expense and inconvenience of the ones who have been offended against…. how about instead they say three simple words, “We were wrong”.

A. It cost them too much (I’m not referring to money).