Dr. Cleghorne present a crisis that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is face with. The problem is there is a serious need for term limits within all levels of the organization. There are several levels of administration in Seventh-day Adventist Church: Local church, Conference, Union, Division, and General Conference. In the constitution and bylaws of the five levels of the church, each entity of the church, chooses at constituency meeting, the officers that will serve them for the duration of the term. Some have Trienniums (three years), Quadrennium (four years), and some Quinquennium (five years). All union and conference with its Divisions have Quinquennium.
There is a conflict between some constituencies; some choose to have open-ended terms, while others have chosen term limits. Dr. Cleghorne believes this inconsistency causes serious conflict because this creates the opportunity for some leaders to remain in office “ad infinitum” and will do anything to manipulate the process. Cleghorne examined the ecclesiastical operations at the constituent levels of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and recommended positive alternatives to this ongoing political problem. Below are a number of arguments Dr. Cleghorne presented in favor of term limits:
1. The need to avoid any man or woman feeling that they are indispensable, because of the length of time he/she would have served in a particular office.
2. The need to preserve the purity of its operation, ensuring credibility at all levels and integrating the involvement of many leaders in the direction and management of the organization.
3. Term limits does an excellent job at mentoring a cadre of possible successors. This provides and creates a healthier environment for the development of leaders who will continue the work.
4. Term limits allow incumbents to plan and function strategically so that they can accomplish much within a given time.
Cleghorne strongly believes a mentoring program should be put in place in order to assist the process of term limits. He states that the former leader should be easily accessible to the current leader to offer valuable advice and counsel, which will make the mentee’s job easier to execute and more successful. World renown, John Maxwell quotations are prevalent in Dr. Cleghorne’s points which helped to reinforce the importance of mentorship and leadership. Maxwell agrees and concurs with Cleghorne saying, “What we need for leaders are men of heart who are so helpful that they, in effect, do away with the need for their jobs. But leaders like that are never out of a job, never out of followers. Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away.”
In addition Cleghorne is confident that the only way term limit is going to be effective is to establish a mentoring program. The Bible he says is replete with references to the concept of mentoring. Moses mentored Joshua. Elijah mentored Elisha. Barnabas mentored Paul and in appreciation Paul...