Posts Tagged ‘church polity’

The Holy Spirit is not holacratic. “Say, what?!”, you may be asking.

 In today’s Wall Street Journal is an article about the clothing e-company, Zappos and their CEO Mr. Tony Hsieh (pronounced “shay”) who has instituted halocracy.  First developedin 2007, it is a ‘new’ non-management style for companys.  The word means literally:  “holos”, or “whole” and the “cracy” ending, as in democracy means “rule of the whole”.  Mr. Hsieh has removed all his company’s managers for the rule, or management by the workers.  The company keeps a display of all the ties they have cut in half because of their “no ties” policy to emphasize their core values including halocracy (cutting my tie would really tick me off!).  So now they have all sorts of “governance meetings” to work through, I guess, governing themselves  to decide how to get the work done, not some manager. This is nothing new. This is communism/socialism in another made up vocab.  Leaderless and eventually they will have a leader and it won’t be holacratic!  From the article, Mr. Hsieh is quoted:

“‘The idea is for each person to selfishly process their own tension’…’The reaction round is sacred space’  (Translation:  Each worker is entitled to his or her opinion and will get a chance to voice it during the part of the meetings when crosstalk and interruptions are forbidden.)”

Mr. Hsieh says this is “sacred”.  The reporter uses the title “The Gospel of ‘Holocracy'”.  There are 15,000 words in the ‘Holacracy’ constitution, and 8,000 in the U.S. Constitution.

No doubt, I will be reading  within the year about some congregation or church body also implementing holacracy. George Bernard Shaw said that socialism is a great idea but it leaves no free evenings. The second part he got right, and the first part he got dead wrong.

There is leading from the whole or from behind.  We are in a democracy but whose founders created the Chief Executive, the President and some historians say based upon the leadership qualities of George Washington. Yes, our nation’s founders were radical,but not that much.  They knew they needed a leader, but not a king to rule by whim, or the mob to rule by pooled ignorance.

Now, you may be asking, what does this have to do with the Holy Spirit?  The Lord leads His people through His Word of Law and Promise.  Jesus leads the way (Hebrews 12: 1-3), has led the way and will (Hebrews 13:8).  The Lord leads and calls leaders, that  is the way it works.  Note that when man invents a ‘new’ way to rule, even the language becomes convulated, as in Mr. Hsieh’s quote above. If you ever tried to read Marxist/Communist literature…well, finally, it is a real snore. Then people have to get their minds right, as in the case at Zappos, by “trainers”.  When I think of trainers I think of someone training dogs.  Jesus was ever leading in His earthly ministry. He lead the Way into Jerusalem for our salvation and in that salvation the Lord leads through His Word. He sends the Holy Spirit to lead by convicting of sin (John 16:8),and  by helping (John 14:16) and teaching us Christ ( John 14:26) and He calls pastors and ministers to shepherd the flock to the Word of God.  We are educated not trained. We need God’s Word, not men aping God’s Word into their own version of “sacred”. Only the Lord is sacred and makes us holy through faith in Christ.

This prayer is one of the post-Communion prayers in the Lutheran Service Book:

O God the Father, the fountain and source of all goodness, who in loving-kindness sent Your only-begotten Son into the flesh, we thank You that for His sake You have given us pardon and peace in this Sacrament, and we ask You not to forsake Your children but always to rule our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that we may be enabled constantly to serve You through Jesus Christ and forever who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.



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