When we examine a church or a business or other institution where people are involved, we can take a look at it’s ideal (what is the aim, the vision for the people there?) and the structure implemented (how are things arranged, who is in charge, etc.?) We can examine forwards and backwards with these things in mind. These two things aren’t isolated or separable. How we’ve set things up and what we think we’re going for are tightly connected.
If we aren’t sure what the ideal of our community is, we can look at what the system is set up to produce. What is in place to ensure this outcome? Structure >>> Ideal.
If we aren’t sure how things are structured, we can work backward from the ideal/vision. What is it we all have in mind to accomplish that we’re arranging things to produce. Ideal<<<Structure
If the ideal is to have only men’s perspectives in church decision making, the structure will reflect that and exclude women from the processes. If women are excluded from processes, we can see the ideal is one where men have the lion share of responsibility and freedom.
What are the ideals in my church community?
Who determines the structure/arrangement in my community?
Is my contribution to the ideals and structure of my community intentional?