But the proposals actually consolidate power in the hands of the Synod President and diminish the persuasive power of individual congregations. As Publius Aequillus points out, “Program Boards and Commissions are eliminated, thereby placing the tasks and functions handled by them under the Synod President.” With priority given to circuit and district overtures at the national convention, “it will become next to impossible for a small congregation to have a voice in the Synod,” and “all of these recommendations [#’s 3, 10, 16] take power away from the local congregations and transfer it to districts and the larger Synod.” (Brackets added)
Dr. Martin Noland, in a comment following Publius’ post, notes that this restructuring “…is the single biggest proposed concentration of power in one person that the Missouri Synod has seen in its history.” That’s a very significant comment, coming from the former Chief Historian of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
The Task Force ideas represent a huge change in the structure and function of the Synod, as well as in how it sees itself. The move from a congregational basis to a top-down structure is nothing short of a paradigm shift. Changes of this magnitude can be difficult to achieve, and must be carefully orchestrated. There is certainly ample evidence that the Task Force has worked hard to achieve this paradigm shift.