Peter Greig who served on the Vineyard Anaheim Board for 2 months and then resigned without comment when VCF Anaheim initially announced that it had left VCUSA has broken his silence. His essay is remarkable because Greig, a remarkable follower of Jesus, reveals four discernments that give light to Anaheim Vineyard’s decision to leave Vineyard USA. This is a case study on how to correct in the way of Jesus.
First, Greig writes that when Alan and Kathryn Scot asked the board to support their decision for Vineyard Anaheim to leave Vineyard USA, it “came as a complete shock”. This is the English way of saying, “What!?!?!? the heck?”. This is the shock of a Christian leader who understands that this is a mess that will have lasting effects. His shock legitimatizes the reactions of others.
Second, Greig writes that the decision did not appear to have “any due process”. Due process means treating people fairly. It is important to note that people get due process, not decisions. Greig seems to assert that no stakeholder “got their day in court”. This is a bombshell. This is a judgment of a board member concerning a crucial decision . He’s saying this should not go forward without a clear process that is open and transparent.
The third revelation Greig reveals is that the Scots paused the process on 2/27 because of his intervention. This is interesting but it is also reveals how the decision was made . Alan sent an email about leaving Vineyard USA on the Friday prior. Did Greig and the board learn about the decision before or after the Friday email? If before, it means the email was sent even though the board had serious issues about the decision. If after, Alan sent the email without board knowledge. Either way, this is a board that is kept in the dark.
Finally, Greig appeals to unity at the beginning and end of his letter. A.W. Tozer writes this about unity:
Be alike in compassion. Be alike in loving. Be alike in pity. Be alike in courtesy. Be alike in forgiving!” Then he sums it all up: “Finally, be ye all of one mind!”
The commands to unity are not about having agreement on a decision but about the quality of the process. It is the way we treat one another that reveals our unity. Greig is clear that Jay Pathak wants a transparent and mutual process. He says nothing about what the Scots want. The silence is deafening.
Anaheim Vineyard’s board is not powerless. The board can withhold funds or assets if it thought the pastoral team was acting inappropriately. The board could say the process needs to change or there will be consequences. The cry of powerlessness is embarrassing.
Nevertheless, the board should publicly respond to Peter’s statement. These are the questions that demand answering:
- Why was Peter not part of the discussion to leave Vineyard USA?
- Why was there no place for stakeholders/members/the board to give input and ask questions before a decision was made? When Peter asked about the fairness of the process, what was your response?
- Explain the Friday email and Peter’s concerns. Why was an email sent if the board had just learned and had concerns? Or did the board learn with the rest of the public and then was asked for support to do damage control? Does this raise concerns about accountability and transparency?
- Why does the board feel disempowered to ask critical questions and hold leaders accountable? One assumes the board holds the purse strings; why isn’t this leveraged for accountability and transparency?
We know the board is now majority staff and has every incentive to hunker down and weather the storm. But current stakeholders can demand that the board respond and give an account. You have much more influence than you know. Follow the examples of Carol Wimber, and the Fultons. It is not too late.