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Home List of Titles Has God stopped calling or has the church stopped listening? Perspectives on the decline and regeneration of ordained ministry candidates for the Uniting Church in Australia
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/215169
- Has God stopped calling or has the church stopped listening? Perspectives on the decline and regeneration of ordained ministry candidates for the Uniting Church in Australia
- Dempsey, Kate; Bottomley, John
- This paper investigates the response of the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) to the decline in ordination candidates for its Ministers of the Word, using both church reports and our own recent experience within the church. We highlight how the modern discourse of the business world is employed almost exclusively to deal with an issue of organisational decline that may in fact be resistant to a business solution. We suggest that beyond leaders’ fear and anxiety about institutional decline, there is a deeper fear of organisational death due to a dimly perceived sense of God’s abandonment of the present form of church. The denial of grief in the face of this unspoken abandonment drives the search for business solutions to the perceived problem of the decline of ministerial candidates. We use the insights of socio-analysis to delve into these existential issues faced by the church and find a fruitful dialogue can occur between the theories presented in that field and the insights of a contemplative theological tradition. We suggest that the church can regain its sense of the gift of contemplation by moving away from business-based solutions to its spiritual dilemmas. Finally our paper will provide several ideas for ways to promote this reflective direction in the church and suggestions of ways to renew and regenerate the church’s ordained ministry.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Socio-Analysis, Vol. 13 (Dec 2011), pp. 63-78
- Publication year
- FOR Code(s)
- 1503 Business and Management
- Faith organisations; Institutional decline; Ministerial candidates; Persecutory anxiety; Uniting Church in Australia
- Group Relations Australia
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2011.
- Additional information
- Kate Dempsey is incorrectly named on the paper as 'Kate Demsey'. This error has been corrected in this record to facilitate ease of its discovery.
- Peer reviewed