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Would you characterize your Classis as healthy? What does it mean to be healthy when it comes to church governance?


Here's a few indicators of a healthy classis, off the top of my head.   What do others think?


It's safe and inviting for all voices to be heard.

Competition is near zero and encouraging behaviors are common.

Information is openly and freely available throughout the system, and it's easy to give input and be heard on issues before they come up for decision.

Attenders are routinely briefed on the rules for how to participate effectively.

Technical and procedural and organizational matters are kept to a modest part of the agenda, and most of the focus is on encouraging and enabling people and congregations for enhanced ministry.

People are seated in an arrangement that promotes community and mutuality.

Devotions including prayers for each other are a significant part of what happens on a regular basis.

People leave feeling energized for their mission as followers of Jesus.

I really like this list, Karl.  I think it is right on.  Have you ever experienced a classis meeting where any of these things are present?  What difference did that make?  For those who want to see some of these things happen, do you have any ideas of how to make these things happen?

In Classis Toronto we are getting good at sitting in ways that promote community and mutualty - by sitting at round tables rather than in pews - it does help with disucssion but it limits where we can have the meetings as not all churches can accomodate fifty plus people around tables.  We are also trying to be very intentional about praying for each other - at each classis meeting at least six churches share and we spend time praying for those churches.

Something that I've been thinking about lately is how to be sure that everyone is heard.  So often discussions are dominated by five to ten people who feel comfortable talking in large group settings and many people are not heard.  They may have a lot of wisdom to give to a decision or discussion but the style of discussion oes not promote this.  Any ideas about how to encourage everyone to be heard?

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