Let Go of James the Lesser: Education Advice to Jesus

Let Go of James the Lesser: Education Advice to Jesus February 10, 2017

saint-paul-1276547_640_optMemo to Administration of Jesus University

From: Al C. Biades Ed.D., Consultant for WIN.EDU!

T0 Leadership:

We are worried about the future viability of your educational project. First, you are heavily invested in disciples and apostles with hardly any support services. One has to question the viability of such a model. You have too many teachers and not nearly enough people to support those teachers by telling those teachers what to do and teach.

Second, the organization frequently doubles down on hard sayings that are driving potential clients away. The entire “eat my flesh” episode is perhaps the worst case of this syndrome. Just tell students what to think and stop being so cryptic. How many students of means do we lose with each hard saying? Finally, you do not seem to have any plan to gain funding from Rome. The Empire is here to stay and we need to be practical enough to deal with it.

The entire organization may not survive the next Passover unless some hard decisions and changes are made.

  1. Lay off redundant teachers. Do we really need a “James the Lesser?” We have James. What about Simon the Zealot? He turns off donors with his revolutionary zeal and we have a dynamic teacher already named Simon. Does Judas also called Thaddeus ever generate revenue?
  2. The time has come to empower your administrators. You should double down on the savy of Judas Iscariot. He keeps the purse and has a good sense of waste. His rebuke of the wasteful performance art of the pouring expensive nard on the Lord’s feet is just one example of his acumen. Let’s pay Judas the silver he deserves.
  3. The entire organization seems mired in helping people unable to pay for our services and relying on altruistic people to help. This is not sensible. We need to work with the Romans. We also should cut off many of the five thousand who frequently show up without even the food they need. 
  4. There has to be a way to better monetize some of what the organization does. Did anyone think of offering tours of the Holy Land with our organization? What about pushing product? Our organization has key contacts in the Temple to get some of our merchandise into the hands of the faithful. After all, if our Father’s House is not just a house of prayer, but of business, then let’s get our share of that market.
  5. The leadership spends a great deal too much time listening to questions from disciples. “What did this saying mean?” wastes time that could be better spent preparing our students for life in the Roman Empire.
  6. The senior leadership needs to appoint more administrators. We would suggest that retention is a big problem. People come for the loaves and fishes, but they are not staying as givers. We need to invest in retention strategies.
  7. Letting Matthew just leave business was imprudent. Couldn’t he have served better giving disciples loans to follow us for the next few years? Everyone wins with loans: Matthew makes a profit and we get disciples.
  8. We were sorry to see the leadership still discipling students as individuals. This is very inefficient. We need to homogenize our message so it can be duplicated by all our teaching apostles.
  9. We are concerned that we have four different takes on our story! Let’s get our communications team (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) on message and tell our story in a much more unified and consistent manner. John in particular needs to be brought into line as he keeps deviating from the message of the organization. “In the beginning was the Word. . . .” and then not a single mention of Christmas is a downer. Consider cutting John.
  10. The standards for leadership are too high. We are cutting off some of our best candidates by demanding “holiness” and other concepts. Let’s cut some corners to avoid getting stuck in a corner.

There is a great deal more to say . . . including whether discipleship is necessary for everyone. Couldn’t we just make some people deacons when they know the facts or content? Probing a person’s inner life is expensive and not obviously sustainable.  Let’s not be snobs. People are going to get ministered to someplace. Shouldn’t they get our good product? Why deter them by making demands that they “leave all and follow?”

Please consider these suggestions for the good of the ministry. Know this at least: you have a real star in Mr. Iscariot. He shares our pragmatic approach to education!


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