Loyalty “Should I Stay or Should I go?”
October 8, 15
I am presently in the crossroads with the title of this blog. While I understood that Albert Hirschman was conveying his thought through the eyes of a company or organization that has consumers and members I looked at it from the eyes of a church organization. I am getting my construction company back going but I am not interested so much in being competitive anymore. I just want to thrive and maintain this company for my grandsons. But I understand the context of a business very well and beating out the competition but I am not going that way with this because Exit, Voice and Loyalty is a book that is speaking to a situation that I find myself in with my denomination.
Should I exist or should I use my voice? I am clear about one thing if things don’t change I am going to use my voice. Hirschman says, “To resort to voice, rather than exist, is for the customer or member to make an attempt at changing the practices, policies, and outputs of the firm from which one buys or of the organization to which one belongs.”I am at this juncture with my denomination, I don’t want to exist at this point but something must be said about how the denominations practices and policy don’t serve the 21st Century like it could. I am doing my problem statement in regards to how our denominations like many denominations are attractional and not missional. I don’t want to park there but there are other issues that need to change. I am not a quitter and I am loyal to the denomination but I am at that point that I cant stomach doing things that are not beneficial for my church and that only benefit the greater church. And the choice at this point is exist or voice your dissatisfaction. It is often between articulation and “desertion”-voice and exist in our neutral terminology. I don’t want to just voice my dissatisfaction I want to study how and what to do to help the organization to be better and to reflect the gospel better in the 21st Century.
Exist is not what I want to do right now because it is so easy to walk away from something and ridicule it and that’s is not my style. I think that is weak. But if it is too daunting of a task I must follow my heart and vision. When I am loyal to something I am loyal. And as Hirschman says, “as a rule, then loyalty holds exist at bay and activates voice.” That’s why I am studying missional leadership and churches to understand how it works so that when I do voice my dissatisfaction I will already have a solution and don’t end up as just a complainer. It is easy to complain but you should have a solution that you are doing and you can measure your success with theirs. And then finally I hope for reform and this hope is one of the reason I don’t exist. It is a great denomination. And loyal people are always hanging in there because they believe it can change. Albert Hirschman puts it like this, “as a result of loyalty, these potentially most influential customers and members will stay on longer than they would ordinarily, in the hope or, rather, reasoned expectation that improvement or reform can be achieved from within.”
 Albert O Hirschman, Exist, Voice, and Loyalty: Reponses to Decline in Firms Organizations and States (Massachusetts and London: Harvard University Press, 1970), 30.
 Ibid., 31.
 Ibid., 78.
 Ibid., 79.