Very good and insightful article (and I liked the previous one too).
Personally, I think that one of the problems of the SDA church is that we have imported the management techniques of the world into the church. In companies there is the tendency to go from “blue” collar work to “white” collar work. We go from the “assembly line” to the “office”. We call this “promotion”.
The same thing is taking place in the church. We go from pastoring churches (assembly line/“blue collar” job) to jobs at the conference/division level (the office or administrative work/“white collar” job).
In other words, we are running the church like a business. And because of this, we have adopted the same behaviors, goals, vision, language, techniques, etc.
This is why we are so obsessed with results, with meetings, with metrics, with careers, etc. Like you have showed, we have created a place in which Jesus Himself would have been in danger of being fired (or not hired).
Of course, there is a need for organization but it should help the mission of the church and not become a burden slowing it down. But maybe it is where the problem resides and why also a lot of pastors are welcoming these administrative positions: we are not always clear about the mission and by we, I mean the leadership but also the church members.
The mandate to make disciples was not given to the pastors only but to every follower of Christ. Obviously, most people in the church didn’t get the memo. So, instead of finding an army of workers engaged in the good fight, oftentimes a pastor has to work in local congregations which are more than happy to leave all the work to him (which doesn’t prevent them to be very demanding of him nonetheless). So, stuck between the pressure of the local churches and the demands from the hierarchy for baptisms, it is not surprising that, at the end, the (burned out/exhausted/fed up/discouraged) pastors see the invitations to fill out administrative positions as life-saving jackets allowing them to keep their heads above the water (and their sanity).
Reforms are needed at every level (administrative, pastoral, local). And if we need inspiration, the best place to start is by looking at the example of the Carpenter of Nazareth.