Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Top Heavy?

On think I do like about being in the private business world is that we have the ability to adapt to face changing situations. While the term "reorganization" srikes fear in the hearts of many and many reorganizations are little more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, the ability to change the structure of an organization to better fit the needs of its customers and staff (and, thus, increase profitability) is something I wish that the Episcopal Church had.

Currently, there are 100 domestic dioceses. (This does not count Tiawan, Haiti, Virgin Islands, Micronesia, or any dioceses in province 9).

Of those dioceses, 43 have average Sunday attendance < 5000 and 10 have ASA < 2000! Here is a bit of stastical inforamtion (ASA in thousands)

ASA Number of Diocese
LT 1 4
1- 2 6
2- 3 10
3- 4 11
4- 5 10
5- 6 9
6- 7 6
7- 8 9
8- 9 5
9-10 5
10-11 2
11-12 1
12-13 3
13-14 3
14-15 1
15-16 3
16-17 2

17-18 3
18-19 0
19-20 0
20-21 1
21-22 3
GT 22 2

The median ASA (in terms of thousands) is 3-4 thousand ASA.

The Episcopal Church needs to reorganize! It has too many bishops for too few people. I suggest that we combine several dioceses such that there is a mininum of 7500 ASA (preferrably 10,000 ASA). While this, after a while, would mean fewer bishops, it would also mean less diocesan overhead - fewer offices to maintain and a much leaner church. Given that we have a 6 dioceses that have > 20,000 ASA, the remaining 94 would have asa of 625,000. We should have only about 70 dioceses (if that many) domestically.

Phil Snyder


Rick Arllen said...

Makes sense but, good luck talking all those worthies out of their purple shirts. Pure is the person (I was about to say, man) who is immune to the glitter and fawning that come with high office. And I don't see a whole bunch of purity happening in TEC these days.

Chazaq said...


Based on the data provided for the 99 dioceses represented in the list, I disagree with the statement that the median ASA is 3000-4000.

It looks to me like:
4 dioceses have less than 1000 ASA,
10 have less than 2000 ASA,
20 have less than 3000 ASA,
31 have less than 4000 ASA,
41 have less than 5000 ASA,
50 have less than 6000 ASA.

So out of the 99 dioceses, the median ASA should be between 5000-6000.

Rick Arllen said...

Oh Boy! Let's get a discussion over whether mean, mode or median is the appropriate rough statistical measure to apply here. Then let's take it over to a consideration of the dispersion about the mean and how many standard deviations cover the sample adequately. And don't forget to bring in Pearson's R. And homeskedasticity and heteroskedasticity!

Look. TEC is imploding and it is top heavy with overpriced management. It is prudent, if TEC can't staunch the hemorrhage it's long past time to do some liberal amputation at the top.

In business terms there is too much G&A. It's time to unload the corporate yacht and get the balance sheet back into shape.

Since theology most clearly isn't TEC's strong suit, perhaps they can at least run the place in a business-like fashion.

TLF+ said...

You are sooooooooo right, Phil.

When you look at an example like the dramatic growth of the Diocese of New York under John Henry Hobart, you find a vigorous MISSIONARY (not bureaucratic) Bishop building up local congregations and deploying priests and deacons.

Here in South Dakota, Bishop Hare travelled about by horse and buggy and Confirmed thousands of White and Indian people. He built up local leadership - eventually including licensed lay positions like "Helper" that made sense to the indigenous culture.

But I'm preaching to the choir.