Professional Committee Attenders

I was speaking with a friend recently about the state of the Adventist church and they said something that was hilarious (and sad) all at the same time. I almost died laughing. They said Dan Jackson and various other NAD and Union leaders were “Professional Committee Attenders.” LOL! As harsh as that sounds… I couldn’t agree more.

It’s true. What do Adventist leaders do? They attend committees! The NAD president, for instance, professionally attends over 60 committees! Other NAD employees aren’t far behind.

Now a lot of people like the NAD president. I’ve met him—ya, he’s nice. And yes, he inherited this denominational framework that he finds himself working in. But still, under his leadership the Adventist church continues to serve me cold food. Not useful.

What is it all for? What is it all accomplishing? In short—what is the point?

Have you ever attended an Adventist committee meeting? There’s a chair person running the meeting. There are attendees. There is an assistant taking notes and tracking minutes. There’s an itinerary. And it’s all secret. If you’re not invited, you’ll probably never know what went on.

The itinerary is my favorite. The chair person can discuss in depth or breeze through whatever they feel like and nobody questions them because they are the chair person. Say a rediculously expensive line item comes up—like office chairs that cost closer to $800 a piece than $100 (which will allow the chair person and their fellow administrators to coddle their rumps in luxury while other employees are using decades-old hand-me-downs). It can sometimes be hidden or grouped into a category like “office expenses” and slated for the end of the discussion when people are worn out and ready to leave. When it comes time to discuss the “office expenses” on the agenda the chair person can simply say something like:

“Okay folks, we’re running out of time. We’ve got a few more items on the agenda today. Let’s see… we’ve got a few office expenses. Anyone opposed? No? Great. Next item…”

And just like that, professional committee attenders rubber stamp something they had no business “discussing” or approving in the first place.

Sure, the thin green line comes into play in this type of situation, but more often than not you’ve simply got a room full of Adventist careerists. What else could you expect from a bunch of puppets?

Unfortunately, the chair thing isn’t just hypothetical. And as maddening as it is to see God’s money used to buy luxury office furniture—I’ve witnessed things that were much, much, much worse. It’s just another example of things church leaders do that make me sick.

In light of these types of issues, it’s simply no wonder that young Adventists are finding Adventism hasn’t made itself a valid option for them. By the time the guilt gets added in, it’s over.

We, as young people, can’t stand by while these committees navigate the world using a map that doesn’t represent the territory we find ourselves living in—bleeding money the entire way. I’m sorry Natalie… these committees aren’t going to produce the results you want.

No more excuses. It’s time for REAL change.


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