Thursday, September 8, 2016

Why Only Us?

“Don’t read other theological book; only read the Bible”. 

If you grew up, attended, or currently attending in a Fundamentalist Christian Church, whether by affiliation or by practice, those words or similar to those words are mentioned behind the pulpit. Depending on the extent, a speaker or a pastor advocating this is reminding the congregants to read their Bible both in the church and at their respective homes and minimize, if not avoid, books on theology.  I understand Pastors for doing this kind of control measures, at least its positive intention.  The church where I am a member experienced the effects of misguided study and zealousness towards particular Biblical doctrines.  It almost divided the brethren.  Hence, pastors and church elders are using that first sentence to protect the body of Christ.   

As I grew up, this has been the mantra of leaders who grew up experiencing the “almost division” event.  There is even one pastor who stated that authors of theology books are just advocating their doctrines just to earn money.  Funny thing though, he is a graduate of a seminary, top of his class, and benefited one way or another to these books (that’s another story, and I understand him for that). 

What makes that first sentence problematic is the Bible, in order for people to understand, must at least be read or listened.  Speaking of listening, in order to “listen” to the Bible, one must have a speaker of God’s Word. Read Romans 10:14-17.  They are called preachers, pastors, and elders.  Human as they also are, these speakers speak based on the reflections on specific Bible passages.  Typical of public speakers, they incorporate personal experiences in relation to their reflection of the passages.  Now, during this sermon, some members are TAKING NOTES.    If these same pastors, preachers, elders, and leaders discourage members and listeners to read theological books, two problems come into picture: they imply that they are the only right speakers of the Word of God AND they will be subjected for further scrutiny because they discourage members to read.  Think about it.  When you, as a preacher or speaker, discourage the members or your listeners from reading a particular theologian, AND THEY ARE LISTENING TO YOU WHILE THEY’RE TAKING NOTES, whose knowledge, reflection, and discourse are in their possession?  Partly, it’s your reflection and their discourse in their possession, not other’s view.  The only difference with you as a speaker from these authors is they published a book, you didn’t, BUT both are STILL written materials through the notes of the listening congregants.  As a consequence, because you have made that kind of practice, chances are, your version will definitely be put under scrutiny.  Why?  To answer their question, “what made us wrong, and you the only right person in this room?”

I didn’t mention those words because I fully disagree with this type of control measure.  In fact I understand the rationale.  Church leaders are just acting like a Mom in the kitchen who tells which one is nutritious which one is not.  However, it’s a brotherly reminder not to become the monster that we despise or worse than the monsters that we despise.               

Friday, June 17, 2016

Douglas McGregor’s Theory and its Affective Relevance to Small Quantity Workplace

I’m more inclined to define organization just as I learned it during the time I was taking my Master’s: a group of people working together towards a common goal.  There are people who will disagree with me when I say church can also be considered as an organization.  Speaking of which, I wanted to make baseline truth or information to establish my post. The basic elements of organization are there: 1) group of people (human resources), 2) money (financial resources), 3) facility (physical resources), 4) common goal, and 5) certain rulebooks.  I’ll not write too much about this; there are many resources discussing about the elements of an Organization.  

Let us recall briefly Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Y.  To avoid being too academic and lengthy, let us just summarize the difference between these two Theories.  In an employees’ perspective, if he’s a Theory X, He’s lazy.  He will work when coerced, pushed, and mandated.  He will not go beyond what is demanded by his immediate boss.  Unless hugely compensated, he’ll not work.  Now, if a manager thinks of his employees as a bunch of Theory Xs, he will not trust them.  He thinks that employees will only work if coerced, pushed, and mandated.  He thinks that employees only work plainly because of money.  An employee or an organization member is a Theory Y if he’s self-motivated, ambitious, and able to control himself.  If an organization manager thinks of the organization members as Theory Ys, he thinks that each and every member is a valuable.  He trusts his employees and assumes that the employees enjoy their work.  Again, I’ll not dig into this so much.  I just made baseline information.  THIS IS THE VERY REASON WHY PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT IS NOW CALLED HUMAN RESOURCE DEPARTMENT. Let’s give credit to Dr. McGregor for that.

Having said this baseline information, let’s move further (not farther).  What am I trying to say?  HUMAN RESOURCES ARE VALUABLE RESOURCES.  Okay, I’m referring to employees and former employees who have sincerely and adequately performed based on clear-headed interpretation of company guidelines (and not the truthfully primaddonas).  In small companies, employees must be treated with respect and dignity because whether you like or not, you’ll always cross paths, because the company is quite small.  Especially in small companies (let’s say below 120 employees), being courteous enough to contractual employees if their service is no longer needed is a good asset.  This means not treating them like commodities.  This means doing your best to disregard personal feelings of like or dislike when renewing or not renewing employees (or in case regular employees).  Always remember that “feel” factor is never enough.  Just because you don’t feel the person doesn’t mean you’ll just throw him or her out.  By the way, don’t follow the “I’m just being real” band wagon.  Be courteous and professional.  Yes, it is the head’s call and prerogative, but the head should always have a heart for employees who did their job well.  Give them dignity and respect.  Trust in their capacity.  Sometimes, giving a certain amount of trust to employees will make wonders to your department.  In fact, it will pull down the wall if you give a certain room for trust even to the employee that you don’t like.  You don’t have to pretend you like all the employees and your subordinates; all you need is to be professional and courteous enough.  Bullying should not have room for a head of department; it will hunt the department, one way or another, no matter how preventive you are.

Yes, Theory Y is just a theory.  There are no laws strictly telling you to adhere to this theory (or else it will be called Law Y, not Theory Y).  In this day and age when management and administration of various small organizations are marred by complaints and dissatisfaction, it still makes wonders when you treat your employees (be it contractual or regular) with dignity and respect.  When you spread that attitude of respect and dignity, respect and dignity will spread very fast.  After all, your organization is small.