We used to know, and then we became sort of unsure, and now a new answer is coming clear!
Change is afoot, there are new opportunities and challenges, and many classes are discovering a new way to BE! Would you believe that some classical meetings generate joy?! Pleasure? A deep sense of satisfaction? Would you believe excitement?
Many of the classes that have discovered new life were assisted on their journey by the Classis Renewal Ministry Team (CRMT). The team’s been around for more than a decade, and it’s helped dozens of classes go through a renewal process, resulting in fresh thinking, purposeful meetings, and new initiatives.
The CRMT is committed to help foster fellowship, prayer, and spiritual growth at the classical level. To what end? So that classes can do a better job of creating and sustaining the health of their member congregations. To what end? Transformed people, neighborhoods, and communities.
This team of six, from congregations and agencies, sits together regularly to pray and work for classical health. They’ve developed planning tools of different types, a set of “benchmarks” for signaling classical health, a very simple assessment, opportunities for meetings among neighboring classical leaders, and a practice of walking with a classis through a process of self discovery, discernment, and renewal.
Of course classical renewal doesn’t happen in a test tube, it’s real life with bumps and sticky spots, and it happens in connection with all kinds of other initiatives, energy sources, and organizational change. It happens when multiple agencies generate a new and synergized focus. It happens when people get re-ignited in their passion for God’s mission in our world.
Vision for mission is perhaps the most powerful asset a congregation can have. Can you imagine how this could be amplified and reinforced if it shaped the life of a classis? How does church planting intersect with classical renewal? Where is leadership development in a classical agenda? Unleashing diaconal potential – the best kept secret in the CRC – the critical mass needs to be embedded in the classis. Classical renewal must intersect with change on many fronts. And the changes themselves need to be embedded in the classical culture. Have we failed to realize what a powerful tool we have in the classical structure?
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I urge you to share with readers the stories of your classical renewal (or your questions about it!). Your neighbors need to hear!