Peer Group Spurs Classis Renewal


Here's an amazing story of transformation in one powerful paragraph! Stan Workman of Classis SEUS (no relation to the Doctor) wrote a testimony about his (Sustaining Pastoral Excellence) peer group’s experience and its effect on his classis.

What’s so clear in this testimony is how many different themes and resources connected and caught holy fire through genuine collaboration. And - look what happened to the classis! Or, maybe it’s better to say, “Look how the classis became the incubator (or launch pad or support network) for an integrated set of initiatives! Look what happened through the classis!”

Here’s Stan’s testimony:

“Probably the key piece of learning for us is that God has been able to do incredible things simply by allowing us to work collaboratively rather than individually in isolation. One major outcome of our peer group experience has been the complete renewal of our classis. Because we began seeing each other more often and working together better, we started having extensive discussions with regard to how to cause renewal and growth in our classis. The total membership and number of churches in our Classis has shrunk considerably in the last 20 years. At the same time, Florida has had a huge population boom. This is obviously not a good trend. We are now working specifically on planting 20 new churches in the next 10 years and raising up 40 leaders in that same time frame. Over 12 future leaders have already been licensed to preach or ordained according to Article 23 in our Classis. This is a direct result of what has happened in our Peer Group.”

Without a doubt there are other stories out there about how renewal has taken place, or how it got derailed. These are the stories that bring us together, inspire us, teach us, and encourage us. Do you have a story about renewal in your classis? Would you share it please? If you don’t want to write it let me know. I’ll interview you and I’ll write it. It’s really important that we encourage one another through the sharing of our stories. 

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Community Builder

In California we've had LEAD teams which are essentially peer learning groups of sorts. Some have done well, some have fallen away. On the whole, however, it's a very positive thing. 

I too think the key is actually meeting together regularly and deciding to work with one another. In Sacramento we had a group that predated the LEAD teams that we call "the cluster" and we've used it as an incubator for church planting and a whole variety of other things. You have to believe that together is better than alone and then work on it by making the getting together and staying in touch a priority. 


Community Builder

Yes!  I just heard another classis renewal story today, and the formation of a leadership team that was characterized by high trust and respect, high commitment and accountabilty, and just plain enjoyment in being together,  played a vital role in the story.