I have only served as a church visitor once so I cannot claim any deep insight into the position. However, for most of my term I wondered whether classis really cared whether or not visits were made.
The role of a classical counsellor is simply to see that “ecclesiastical regulations have been observed” in the calling of a minister. Is something more needed in a time when the relationship between congregation and pastor is a cause for concern?
If a person is willing to lie to self, a spouse, a church council, a congregation and to God, why do we expect that person will be honest and transparent in an accountability group?
The day began with worship, classis has been declared constituted and the chair for the day says, “Okay, let’s turn to item IV, B, 3, e”. You spend the rest of the day flipping pages trying to figure out where you are. Classical agendas are shaped with different goals in mind. These do not always include user friendliness.
At a Council meeting it became clear that most members had little experience with or awareness of classis. What can classis do to spread the word?
When I was ordained into ministry, the assumption was that a call to ministry was a call for life. In the years since then, that assumption has been challenged.
On a flight home from classis I wondered why the six churches in our region didn’t meet as a sub-classis from time to time. To the best of my knowledge this is an idea that is rarely implemented.
In 2006 the synod of the Christian Reformed Church changed article 41 of the church order. To the best of my knowledge there has never been an evaluation to determine whether the revision has proven to be an effective way to encourage mutual accountability and address issues of common concern.
Classis does many things well, but sometimes there are too many people in the room.
There is much I like about the shepherding model. I especially like the emphasis on listening. I just think that the listening should take place sooner.
I told the construction worker that I was a little jealous that my sons got to go to work wearing safety boots and hard hats. With a knowing grin he said, “The grass is always greener.” Then he stopped himself and added, “But I wouldn't want to do what you do.”
The time for fall classis meetings is fast approaching. In the past I have written about letting go and not speaking too much at meetings. This time, both for my benefit and for others, I’d like to share some ideas about speaking at a classis meeting.
In my experience deputies usually perform their task with the wisdom and decorum that is called for. Not everyone agrees.
Churches that tell stories tend to be healthier than those that rely on more traditional means of communication. How might classes incorporate storytelling into their deliberations?
He was from a generation that viewed delegation to classis as an honour to be embraced, not an obligation to be avoided.
Pastors who experience article 17 lose their worshipping community. We sometimes hear that classis ought to do something. But, can a classis provide pastoral care?
People in the stands see things that might not be noticed on the playing field. But no one is helped by someone yelling from the stands.
At synod this summer I could not shake the feeling that some things were not discussed. Issues of structure and culture, leadership and trends are difficult to address, but an approach for dealing with questions like these can be found in a report that synod took note of without noticing.
The question was out of his mouth before the car door was even closed. He was a new elder and this was his first experience of classis. He’d gone even though he had not been delegated; he was interested, he was free that day, and going to classis is one of the things elders do. But as soon as the meeting was over he asked, “What were we doing here?”
Instead of trying to hold on to experiences or positions, we can let go trusting that God has other people who can carry on and confident that God is preparing new opportunities for us to serve.
Hi, my name is Norman Visser and I will be the new guide for the classis forum. I write as someone who just completed a term as chair of a Classical Ministry Committee. I see this blog as an opportunity to reflect on my experiences, to share what I have learned, and learn from the experiences of others.
Could we be refreshed by recovering a tired old practice, and injecting it with some new vision and vigor?
As a stated clerk of classis, I just witnessed, walked through, and wept through three Article 17 separations in one classis meeting. It is a painful process for pastors and church councils, usually preceeded by a year or two or three of anxiety and friction between pastor and council.
Do you see these trends in the denomination? Are we trending in healthy directions? Signs of hope in the CRC? Do you see any?
Could a classis ever slow down and get quiet enough to hear the Holy Spirit's voice? How might we arrange our meetings so that we increase the likelihood that we'll discern wisely and respond promptly and sincerely?