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Arise Church Fixes All Its Problems By Getting Rid Of The Women On Its Board & Replacing Them With Men
Just a quick update on New Zealand’s favourite open sewer of a church, Arise.
I think it’s important to keep an eye on this church, as it’s a case study in megachurch culture the world over.
The RAC is a group the church formed to figure out what to do with the results of several reviews into the church, including the hideous findings of the Pathfinding report (which the church refused to release until Webworm leaked it, and left the report’s author with $20,000 in legal bills).
This is the first time we’ve heard from Arise in awhile, as they’ve fragmented, panicked, and ignored every single one of Webworm’s ongoing questions.
The video of the event sits unlisted on YouTube, which means I can’t embed it here.
But here’s the link if you want to watch Arise’s current leader Ben Kendrew drone on and on for ages.
There is also a PDF summary of the Review Advisory Committee’s “plan”, which I’ve read.
I guess I could summarise the whole thing by zeroing in on one paragraph in particular:
“The Board identify circumstances that disadvantage women within Arise and determine specific actions to address these, endeavouring to create a culture of equality that can be an inspiration to and cause for impetus for the wider church environment in Aotearoa New Zealand.”
Look — I’m all for the Arise board identifying circumstances that disadvantage women.
One good case study to look at could be the Arise Board, which recently had all its women leave and get replaced by men.
Yes, since we last spoke, all three women on the Arise board have left. Five men now rule the roost: Two are staff, and all are Arise members. There are no external voices — the board are all indoctrinated male church members.
Board chair John Robertson provided this perspective when mentioning the three women who had left:
I hesitate to give advice to the Arise Board, but one way to become less sexist could be to include some women.
The main thing to not do would be to get rid of all the women in your top leadership team.
Because if you find yourself taking that second course of action you’re in danger of looking like you’re even worse than you were before, and that’s bad because before you were an absolutele shitshow.
Until next time,
PS: Arise also released a diagram that is meant to explain the new “governance and leadership roles” at the church:
… which are about as clear as the Marvel cinematic universe: