Hi, my name is Norman Visser and I will be the new guide for the classis forum. I write as someone who just completed a term as chair of a Classical Ministry Committee. I see this blog as an opportunity to reflect on my experiences, to share what I have learned, and learn from the experiences of others.
The question was out of his mouth before the car door was even closed. He was a new elder and this was his first experience of classis. He’d gone even though he had not been delegated; he was interested, he was free that day, and going to classis is one of the things elders do. But as soon as the meeting was over he asked, “What were we doing here?”
At synod this summer I could not shake the feeling that some things were not discussed. Issues of structure and culture, leadership and trends are difficult to address, but an approach for dealing with questions like these can be found in a report that synod took note of without noticing.
I told the construction worker that I was a little jealous that my sons got to go to work wearing safety boots and hard hats. With a knowing grin he said, “The grass is always greener.” Then he stopped himself and added, “But I wouldn't want to do what you do.”
In 2006 the synod of the CRC changed article 41 of the church order. To the best of my knowledge there has never been an evaluation to determine whether the revision has proven to be an effective way to encourage mutual accountability and address issues of common concern.
One of the recommendations in last year’s Diakonia: Remixed report was that the Christian Reformed Church allow for longer, more flexible terms of service for elders and deacons. I recently discovered that the Presbyterian Church in Canada had taken a step in the opposite direction.