Renewing or changing a classis is not easy work. Classes, in their present form, have been hundreds of years in the making. How do a few people create change in this type of environment?
Over the past six months I've had the opportunity to blog, write articles, and find resources for this online Network about classis. It has been a wonderful way of processing the work that I have been a part of. I've enjoyed getting other's opinions, stories and thoughts about the subject. I've been encouraged and challenged
I have been reading The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations that Matter. I was introduced to this book and this method of planning earlier this year. As I watched Synod last month, it struck me how different this method of planning and discussing an issue really is. I can't help wondering if there is a place for this
At most classis meetings, CRC agencies and other ministries and organizations that are affiliated with the classis report in. Classis meetings are often seen as a good way of getting their information out to the churches. But is this type of reporting really the best way to get the information out?
We need denominations and yet they are flawed human creations. Bullard does not think that we can exist as churches without the denomination around us because “without them and without the ways they allow us to be people of faith together, we have no access to a God any larger than the God of our self.”
The local church's need for classes and the denomination is a bit like a believing family's need for a congregation. A believing family should not just be content with worshiping and studying together, they need a church to attend, a gathering of other believers where they can worship, study, learn and hold each other accountable together. The same is true for churches.
Many of our churches are becoming more diverse so we think this will naturally flow to having a more diverse leadership in our churches and then more diversity in our classes and denomination. But it isn't happening naturally. It seems like if we are to become more diverse... we will need to become more
This examination is the last step in a long process of being declared a candidate. I wonder if it is a bit redundant. Before the classical exam the candidate has been through four years of theological education, been examined and approved by the faculty of the seminary, been examined and approved by the Synodical Candidacy Committee and been approved at Synod.
Is it right that congregations ask the question about classis: “What’s in it for us?” and then base their participation on the answer? Or should congregations be participating, not for what they can get out of classis, but for what they can contribute?
There are a number of people who think that classes have become irrelevant to our congregations. And perhaps overall, there is a waning interest. But I also know that there are many who are working hard at helping classis do things differently in order that they become more relevant and address the needs of leaders and churches.
The CRMT is a group of ministry leaders convened by The Network, who believe that classes are healthiest when they function as communities of fellowship, prayer, and spiritual growth; when they create and sustain healthy congregations; and when they facilitate shared ministry ...
“Many Protestant congregations have become burdened with elaborate, nearly Byzantine organizational structures that have assumed a life of their own but do not effectively further essential ministry or core purpose in this new time... ”
Are there any resources you need? What questions do you have? Is there anything you think is essential for all those involved in classes to know about? Ask your questions and make requests for resources and information here!
The classis of our past was a good classis if it was a faithful classis. The classis of the present has to be, at the very least, a responsive classis—it has to respond in some way to the changes impacting our corporate church life. What does a responsive classis in the CRC look like today? And what about the future of classis?
Many of us may know this to be true but making prayer a greater part of a classis meeting can be daunting. Where do you start? Doug Kamstra, in his “Classical Prayer Leader’s Resources” binder gives a few ways of getting started praying at Classis.
Over the past several years many churches have had check-ups of sorts to look for points of health and places that need work (Natural Church Development surveys, Healthy Churches surveys, WillowCreek Reveal survey, etc.). But when it comes to classes we often just keep going with the way things have always been. We don’t bother to check the health and vitality of this mid-level of church life.
What does a healthy classis look like today? 10 Benchmarks of a Healthy Classis provides a way to answer this tough question. These benchmarks are a useful tool for assessing classis health and are also great discussion starters.