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?
Synod is like an 8 day classis meeting, with harder beds and worse food, but the real trial will be having to both learn to love our enemies while God forces us to decide his will while He shuts up. Seems unspiritual and unwise, maybe...
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...
Church services are for worshipping and Synod is for fighting and Synod season is upon us.
Two of the hot topics for this year are the update to the Form of Subscription and the Belhar confession. Whatever you think of the Belhar one of the things it has done for us is to bring the...
Yes our classis has taken a bold step to actively engage and support church renewal … one church at a time. This decision was born out of dialog about who is helping congregations and how it’s going. There are some good resources, but much more to do.
Delegates from classis voting opposite from classis' vote on an issue.... Briantebben mentioned this in another thread. This was in reference to a vote on whether to accept the Belhar or not. Classis voted no, but Briantebben said the delegates would vote yes. My question is this, if the...
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.
When you step off the plane in Missoula, MT, you feel embraced by the surrounding hills. I felt that way at the meeting of Classis Yellowstone too.
Dr. John Bolt confesses his lack of classical involvement and learns that classis can be a place to see the beauty of what God is doing in this diverse world. Oh yeah, and he talks about the Belhar.
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.
Have you ever thought of what 5 words you would use to describe your classis? Encouraging? Supportive? Enjoyable? Helpful? Stimulating? Or how about slow, frustrating, boring, irrelevant, sclerotic?
What starts a classis on the journey to renewal? What factors can contribute to getting a classis started on the journey? Happily, many of these factors we can learn from the experience of classes that are already on the journey!
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?
There was a time when ministers would hole up in their studies, surrounded by commentaries and occasionally distracted by a phone call.
Though I am not a pastor, I suspect that today's minister has a few commentaries or other pertinent thematic texts on the book shelf but that the...
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
In church order language Article 17 is a no-fault divorce between a pastor and their church. Churches and pastors avoid invoking Article 17 because they don't want the stigma of this flagging system? Ought we to keep the flags or lose them?
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
The CRMT is committed to help foster fellowship, prayer, and spiritual growth at the classical level. To what end? So that classes can do a better job of creating and sustaining the health of their member congregations. To what end?
I hardly know how to come at this topic, and I don't want to sound mushy. I'm wired to appreciate lots of procedure, order, predictability, and all that ....
But - when I think of "renewal" in the arena of ecclesiastical assemblies, especially classis, I find myself thinking about a...
Are egos getting in the way of church collaboration? Do local CRC congregations see themselves competing with each other for a limited membership pool?
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.