If we are going to transform the classis into a force for congregational renewal, we’re going to have to rethink some things.
Strong effective congregational leadership is not necessarily the best predictor of strong effective classis leadership. Great teachers don’t always make great principals.
I had an English prof who threatened the class with sarcastic feedback on the essays we wrote for him. He said, “If I ever write the word ‘bland’ in the margin of your paper, you’ll know you’ve just received the worst comment that I could give you.” I guess he meant that any writing that was lively , no matter how poor, was better than writing that was boring and colorless. Sort of like being luke-warm and spat out.
Research on thousands of members in hundreds of churches suggests that a little over half of the membership is satisfied overall with what’s happening in their church. Which organization is best positioned to help clergy and church boards develop into healthy transformational congregations? Classis.
Would you agree that denominational leaders are sending a confused message to the church regarding the need for change? Could you imagine that not only are we experiencing a decline in numbers, but that church members are experiencing such poor quality of community life that it's difficult to invite new people in?
We need to talk! Talk as never before, talk as family, bound together across our differences by His blood and Spirit and love. We need to relearn to speak the truth in love, to engage each other with patience, with good listening, with thoughtful discernment, with humor, with...
One of the best kept secrets about the CRC’s life as a denomination is that exciting changes are percolating at the classical level. We take it for granted that agencies are thriving and doing effective work. But exciting change at the classical level? Have you heard any recent buzz about that?
Getting the roles of governance and ministry mixed up is the crippling confusion in many councils. For deacons, the role confusion can be even more painful and debilitating. Are deacons primarily decision makers? Or are they ministers of benevolence and mercy? Are they sometimes both?
What are the factors that can really help a classis experience positive change? I’ll be the first to say I’m no expert, but I’d like to put forth a few thoughts for discussion. OK, I know you’re going to ask, “Yes, but what IS a healthy classis?” What are its “essential” characteristics? How do you get there?
We're not alone in focusing on congregational health. 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?
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 peer group’s experience and its effect on his classis. What’s so great is how many different people connected and
What if we thought of ourselves more organically and a little less organizationally? What if the skills we expected in a leader included the skills of leading a meeting to maximize spiritual discernment, while giving less importance to Robert's Rules?
What should the church be doing, then, if government effort seems to have little effect, except maybe for providing ongoing relief? How should the church shape its own response? Can the church actually REDUCE poverty and dependence on programs that help? Even just in our neighborhood? Seems like that’s the ideal...
I was told that the synod and the classis don’t really exist. These are not organizations that exist over time; they were not intended to become pieces of bureaucracy. They only exist when they are in session. They are decision making bodies that are convened to do specific business, and then they go out of existence until the next one happens.
When it's transition time on the church council, how can it be as smooth and as affirming as possible? Relief for the tired retirees and honor for the incoming new members are just not adequate marks of transition! What does your council do to make transitions healthy and as pleasant as possible?
Unemployment! Can deacons help? In this economy, and in many communities, our churches come in contact with job seekers. What can deacons do? The church is not an employment agency, but deacons can be a powerful resource to support discouraged job seekers...