The Richmond Baptist Association breached a perceived boundary. Some advocate this as a family matter for Richmond Baptist Association churches, but it is far from just a “family” matter. The actions of one association and its affiliated churches affect neighboring associations and their respective congregations. The action of one has far reaching implications for the whole.
What are the shared values of the Richmond Baptist Association? The recent associational rhetoric fostered the ideal of collaboration. Fortunately or unfortunately, trust and shared value must exist prior to genuine collaboration. Trust develops from relational demonstration. Shared value is often initiated through boundaries. Boundaries are defined limits, borders, margins, or lines created and honored in the relationship. Why must organizations establish boundaries? Boundaries distinguish value. Stated and adhered boundaries protect what matters most and foster healthier team/organizational expectations. While nurturing a partnership, boundaries identify a framework for collaboration and cooperation. When trust erodes or a boundary breach occurs, genuine collaboration is jeopardized because the perceived organizational value was violated.
So where do you go from here? Organizationally you go back to the basics of building trust once more. It is both difficult and time consuming. Develop, articulate, and demonstrate unique organizational values (shared values and boundaries) without deviating. This is the basis for experiencing genuine collaboration. The Richmond Baptist Association is a challenged system. Trust was breached, shared value blurred, and boundaries violated – this stuff matters.