Neal Michell offers a devastating critique of TEC leadership in The Living Church.
He quotes TEC's Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori:
“That’s one of the great joys I’ve had in my first six months, getting to travel and see the health and vitality that exists in this church. I know it’s not always what you read in the newspaper or hear on the news, but it’s true.’’
But Michell points out:
(The) numbers indicate that we are a denomination that is growing smaller. Say what you will about the health and vitality of various churches, the overall direction of our statistics indicates a church that is declining . . . precipitously. Evidently fewer and fewer people want what we have to offer. Since 1999 our average Sunday attendance has shrunk by 132,134 persons per Sunday, or nearly 15 percent.
And who is Neal Michell to contradict the Presiding Bishop? Well, he is the Congregational Development Officer for TEC's Diocese of Dallas, where he helped plant and grow new churches in one of the few dioceses to actually have growth.
And, he was the overwhelming choice of lay people to become the TEC Bishop of Tennessee... but his election was blocked by anti-tradtional (and seemingly pro-failure) clergy.
Michell knows something about the reality of church health and development. Such clergy are increasingly unwelcome in TEC, which seeks to create a small club for a few like minded people. Even TEC's own Congregational Development Officer told a South Dakota clergy conference that TEC insiders are hostile to growing churches.
TEC has embraced a culture of decline and death.