I wrote in a previous post about we needed to change the way we did things if we want to really include women in top level leadership. The challenge is to use the skills that women bring - no, to desire the skills that women bring!
I wondered what a synod would look like if we got this right. I suspect that not only women find big meetings like synods inefficient. We spend a lot of time on detail and very little time in meaningful conversation - partly because the detail just grows and overwhelms and partly because the discussion process is unwieldy.
Broadly speaking, I would say that women bring the skill of consultation and of facilitating discussion. Women like everyone to be heard and to have a chance to give input to a process. Men, broadly speaking, have the ability to make decisions and take risks. These are very broad, forgive me, I know that these are not always true. The point is, however, that planning requires consultation and decision-making and there is probably value in separating these out.
Certain leaders (all male) in my circuit think that consultation means telling people what they have decided to do! This troubles both men and women!
The other part of deciding on a plan is investigation. I don't have any feel as to whether that is 'male' or 'female'. But decisions cannot be discussed or made without information.
So the process should be investigation, discussion, decision but with the various stages led by people gifted in those areas.
The thought of applying this to a synod is overwhelming. But there must be a way!