Founded Patrick McNamara, renowned expert in conflict resolution and mediation, Noah's Dove helps congregations get through difficult changes.
Through Noah's Dove I have had the opportunity to meet and work with Clergy from a variety of religions and denominations. Some of the Churches that we have worked with belong to structured systems that assign the clergy to congregations rather than allow congregations to hire their own pastor. The congregation is consulted, but ultimately the final say belongs to the regional religious office.
This is very foreign from anything that I have ever encountered in my own professional experience. The Rabbi business is a free market. When I first started, almost 10 years ago, the market was very good for the Rabbis. Today the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction and congregations now have the upper hand.
Though the market shifts, the concept is always the same. Supply and demand. There are many obvious advantages to this.
- Congregations have total control over the hiring process
- Congregations have total control over the firing process
- Congregations have control over the hiring process
- Congregations have control over the firing process
As for firing, many Rabbis have been subject to the whims of boards of directors made up of a few disgruntled individuals with a personal axe to grind.
Other times, congregations have sought to rid themselves of an ill suited Rabbi but can not muster up the necessary gumption to fire a Rabbi. In that case having a regional body from above to be the bad guy may be a good thing for the congregation.
In the end of the day, I think I am happy with the free market system and I think that ultimately it serves the best interest of Rabbis and congregations.