Everyone likes to think they are the exception to the rule. We all want to pay for coach, but fly first class. We want to get the backstage pass. We don’t want the speeding ticket, but we want to drive fast. So on.
In every organization there are processes and systems in place. Whenever the leadership of that organization circumvents the process, they have undermined its effectiveness. Of course, there comes a time to change or eliminate a process or system, and that is good. As long as a process is valid and in place, we should trust it and follow that process. This brings clarity and continuity as well as provides the leadership with firm ground to stand on whenever an issue arises.
However, if we are making/allowing exceptions, then it becomes much harder to enforce the process in a moment of conflict or to use the process to protect the organization or individuals.
We must have processes. This is how things get done and how we can know who and how those things are to be done. Processes offer protection to the organization by providing boundaries and a framework with which to function. When the process was originally created with people in mind, it even helps keep people as the focus and purpose.
The problems occur when the process becomes an end into itself and when we undercut the process by not trusting it. The solid ground is in between the two. This is where the process is trusted to help accomplish the purpose.
In our context, we have set up processes to screen adults working with children, allowing outside groups to use our building, grow our volunteer teams, and hire staff. As soon as we make an exception to one of those processes, we begin a path which will eventually lead to situations filled with confusion, strife, and potential harm to our purpose as a church.