In my essay Rebuilding the Presbyterian Establishment, I call for ending the Committees on Representation that are mandatory at all levels of church government in the Presbyterian Church (USA). This point is secondary to my main point, which is that the whole church would be better off if we had an establishment of authoritative leaders to draw on. We used to, but we do not now in part because we deliberately dismantled the structures that create and recreate an establishment since the Sixties.
Still, one of the reasons that the "old boys' network" was dismantled was to create more opportunities for people who were not old white men to be in positions of leadership. Committees on Representation were mandated to monitor compliance with the cultural mandate, and shame the recalcitrant.
There may have been a moment when it was necessary to mandate the inclusion of women in leadership positions in the church, and to mandate the inclusion of racial-ethnic minorities and disabled people on the monitoring committees. I believe that, as that generation retires and is replaced by my naturally inclusive generations, that moment when the church required demographic quotas has passed. They are becoming counter-productive because they foster the idea that sex and ethnicity are primary identities within the church, rather than all being one in Christ.
Yesterday I met with the General Assembly Committee on Representation, the highest such body in the denomination. They were gracious, and we had a civil conversation. I thank them for the invitation. You will not be surprised to learn that the committed members of the Committee on Representation were not convinced that their body was no longer necessary. Fair enough. Several members of the committee also argued that overcoming white male privilege requires people who are not white males to always be in the conversation. I think the church does benefit when people who are not white males are in conversation. But that is a means to a higher end, not an end in itself.
We are faced now with the prudential judgment of whether we still need formal structures to push for demographic representation, or whether the Presbyterian Church is now normally against sex and race exclusion. I believe we have reached the time for change.