The problem with Trump is that he doesn’t live in a world where he can see a woman in a hijab, shepherding her children onto the school bus and think to himself, “hey that family shares my hopes and dreams.” The problem with our country, is that 30% of the people want to live in Trump’s world. It’s a world where language is used to hurt, not heal, where might makes right, and where public service has been forgotten. It is the land of a people who desire a king (1 Samuel Chapter 8) and a man who says, “I’m smart enough for the job.”
Straw Polls are meant to gauge opinion in order to see if an idea has enough popular support to go forward. In times of transition, however, they can get us into serious trouble. Say, you are in moving to a new leadership situation or pastoral appointment. Early on, you will run into something that the outgoing leader or current pastor instituted that seems unpopular. You weigh in and say, “That’s something we should reconsider.” Before you know it you’re conducting a straw poll and finding seven or eight people in agreement with your first impression. Here’s where you get in trouble:
Rule # 4 The process is always more important than any one result.
Church issues rarely have the urgency we assign to them. We may feel that it is vitally important that the church does such and such, but is it really worth destroying the trust that the people have in the congregation’s decision making process? Each decision we make, should be done in a way that is consistent with the patience and love that Jesus showed when he shepherded his Church into existence.
In each of the following, the validity of the rule is proved by its exceptions:
1) The group is always smarter than the lone leader or expert.