Of course we already knew the CRC is not alone in reviewing its structure. And as we focus on "Healthy Congregations," we'll be looking at how our structure contributes to our health. We are not alone in focusing on congregational health, either. What's not so clear is how "middle judicatories" like the classis figure in. I can't help but wonder - is the classis a potential key as we try to balance all the organizational dynamics we're trying to address?
No magic bullet - that goes without saying; but I think classis might be a structure where genuine efficiencies can be realized, and a high degree of participation and local ownership. In a classis there can be increased efficiency in developing resources, communicating, decision making -- that's a high value.
Of course there’s more to be desired! Add in a stronger sense of ownership, of buy-in, of genuine participation -- that's a high value too. Then there’s the need for innovation, creativity, and adaptability. Stir in a high commitment to being the Body of Christ with a genuine Reformed accent. And don't forget the social and demographic challenges! That’s a lot, but it does seem to me that this set of desirables is attainable at the classical level.
The pressure on classes, and the challenges to classes, are increasing. Here's a place in our denominational life where renewal can have huge payoff - and we can do it in manageable bites and timeframes. There are stories out there of classes who've embarked on the journey of renewal; we're learning a lot, and there's much still to learn.
There are concrete, relatively easy, and high-value-added places to practice structural renewal in our denomination. There are classes that are already demonstrating helpful and hopeful changes. Together we are creating a learning environment for organizational change.
May you be encouraged! Classical renewal is underway. AND it's ADVENT!
Share your thoughts, your hopes, your stories. What’s your classis up to?