If the CRC is going to continue to allow both the egalitarian position and the complementarian positions on women in office, how should the complementarian position be expressed in classis?
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?
It's not easy to take a picture of a classis. Both Rev. Devries and Rev. Boot spoke about how this project is helping both denominations move closer together, and this I celebrate. But I think it's also important to see how in many ways classis is a better initial level in which to pursue practical collaboration and unity.
Feeling like denominations are a waste of time? I'd argue that it's tough for a Christian to "think global, act local" without a glocal ecclesiastical space, and your classis or a cluster within it might be the perfect place to start.
We have no titles, hats or golden staffs in the CRC, but don't be fooled, the CRC has bishops and I praise God for them. I think we might benefit from chilling a bit on our egalitarian and libertarian culture and find ways to recognize how to employ this natural dynamic of leadership for the benefit of the church.
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?
Left alone in their studies or church offices for hours on end, the temptation to check out pornographic sites does exist. A few pastors honestly and sheepishly admit to that lure.
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
I was never as upset after a classis meeting as I was after my first meeting of CANE. The meeting was toxic, petty, negative, and I could go on. Classis was all about blame and taking sides, partly relative to women in office but also showing a deep distrust on the part
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 is the cost to your classis if one of your larger, key established congregation implodes? How can a classis do its best to promote healthy senior leadership transitions in important congregations? Consider hiring a Classical Interim Pastor.
In my brief time as guide for the Classis network I’ve encouraged its readers to give voice to the frustration and angst I often hear about Classis in the CRC. A comment that’s been repeated both on and off line seems to reflect the perception that Classis is often resistant to influence and leadership. I very much imagine that observation to be true.
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.
Is your classis merely perfunctory? Is it dying like the village goat tied to the post? Are a few pastor/roosters using classis to play pecking order games? Is classis about some old men talking about "glory days" long gone? Tell your favorite classis horror story (no names please) or what you did to fix it.
The denominational structure is a drama queen that too often distracts Synod from where its focus should be. Let's trying thinking outside the box. What if we got Synod out of the agency management business? Could shifting resources from the denominational to the classical level better serve the church by reinvesting in local ministry? Would local ministry flourish if your classical budget were two to three times its current size?
Classis is sometimes viewed as a sort of forgotten middle child, but it is really a foundational structure the value of which I don't think we have fully explored. When denomination is "too big", and one classis is "too small", can inter-classical partnerships fit "just right"?