Following my last posting about the unhappiness of power struggles in local churches, I have had a (slightly provocative) suggestion that a group be formed of concerned people called Group Against Control-Freaks in Churches (or Gacfic). I realize in other church structures the bishop or superintending minister may be given this responsibility and discharge their authority effectively. But in Baptist church life the strength of gathered believers having mutual responsibility with a high degree of autonomy can also be a weakness. Hence, GACFIC!
In spite of the immediate appeal of a such a group trying to sort out power struggles, I see some immediate difficulties. I am sure you do too! Who would be its members? How would they operate? Would they publish case studies? Speaking the truth in love not only requires spiritual resources of moral courage, discernment, patience, oodles of prayer and, of course, love. It is best done in relationship for few of us are prepared to hear hard truth from 'outsiders' who we guess have probably already drawn their conclusions before entering the situation. Indeed, at worst GACFIC might be considered the ultimate group of control freaks sorting out others' problems. Possibly, the thought of being referred to a special meeting of GACFIC might make a control-freak think twice. However, I have heard of situations where he or she is so dominant the small gathered community is terrified of upsetting him or her, and any advice from 'outside' has no chance of acceptance. No chance.
I guess we do not need to add another structure but to keep marveling that in the wheat and tares growth of the kingdom God keeps trusting us wherever we are to recognize the immense dangers of asserting self-control and, instead, to grow up more mature in Christ. Spiritual renewal with openness to God's will and purpose, found in Scripture and discerned in corporate prayer remains the main hope for more mature togetherness!