In a given week there are probably more Christians listening to the words of Oprah than the words of God. More people probably pay attention to TV makeovers than pay attention to God’s invitation to transformation. Elders – in working for God – have a tough job.
Over and over again, I hear of elders – especially first time elders – struggling to get acquainted with the tasks before them. Not everything can be overcome through good planning. Some tasks simply have to be done the first time in order to learn the dynamics of the ministry. But there is no question that planning
As we head into May, we are approaching the end of the church year. Now is a good time to review the work of the past year. We usually like to gloss over this moment. After all, some are coming to the end of their terms of office and are fading out of the job. Others feel a little guilty about what they failed to do. Hopes and ambition
Recently we watched a marvelous movie, Of Gods and Men. It is a powerful story of a monastic community in Algiers that is caught up in the civil war of the 1990’s. These monks were faced with question: do we stay in the community and continue our service among these people or do we do flee to the safety of France?
Over the years I have noticed that many times the kind of supervisory conversations that take place on a council level, look more like feedback. Supervision requires guidance. Supervision suggests that there are standards to be met for which the supervisors are held accountable. But in council, supervision is often handicapped.
In speaking about the Japanese struggle with its nuclear reactors, Peter Goodspeed wrote “But the nuclear danger may also be a direct result of human hubris.” ( National Post · Mar. 15, 2011) I suppose at least part of the reason I paid attention to this comment is because of other reading I was doing. The book is named This Time is Different...
Having been part of many conversations on organizational structure, I know that each organization structure is a balancing of a variety of differing objectives and at times conflicting values. The changes that are adopted depend on levels of trust within the community and the levels of anxiety that live within the organization...
Most of us are busy. We hardly have time to keep up with the relationships around us. That is not surprising. The simple math of relationships – family, friends, coworkers, church attendees and a host of other regular passing acquaintances – are enough. With these we fail to keep up. Most busy people are not looking for more.
Would reminding people of the Ten Commandments keep people honest? Would reminding people of commitments made keep people honest?
I just finished hearing Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. I couldn’t resist the title. For those who confess that all people are “inclined toward all evil”, a book on irrational behavior might just provide an interesting take on the human heart. And indeed it did.
Home visitation allows the office bearer to encourage spiritual development among members of the congregation. I prepared the following materials for the elders of my previous congregation to use as a guideline in making home visits.
According to the church order, “The sacraments shall be administered upon the authority of the consistory in the public worship service…” and “The Lord’s Supper shall be administered at least once every three months in a manner conducive to building up the body of Christ and in keeping with the teachings of God’s Word.” While not providing details, there is some direction...
There is no doubt that the process of evaluation can be helpful in the growth of a pastor and in the mutual ministry of pastors and elders. Yet, it may get tricky for a whole lot of reasons. Let me pick up on two aspects of the dilemma.