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Praying for that Which Only Exists When...

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.

Classis
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What's a Classis for Anyhow?

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? 

Classis
Blog
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Peer Group Spurs Classis Renewal

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 

Classis
Blog
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Fat Bureaucracies vs Flat and Fluid Networks

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?

Classis
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Healthy Classis Part II

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!

Classis
Blog
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Healthy Classis – How to Get There, Or at Least Close

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?

Classis
Blog
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More Signs of a Classis Ripe for Change

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?

Classis
Blog
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Change At 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?

Classis
Blog
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A Bold Step

 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. 

Classis
Blog
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Classis: Diagnosing and Prescribing

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?

Classis
Blog
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When Classis is Boring

I had an English prof who threatened the class with sarcastic feedback on the essays we wrote for him.  He said, “If I ever write the word ‘bland’ in the margin of your paper, you’ll know you’ve just received the worst comment that I could give you.”  I guess he meant that any writing that was lively , no matter how poor, was better than writing that was boring and colorless.   Sort of like being luke-warm and spat out.

Classis
Blog
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The Church as a Community of Dissatisfaction?

Research on thousands of members in hundreds of churches suggests that a little over half of the membership is satisfied overall with what’s happening in their church. Which organization is best positioned to help clergy and church boards develop into healthy transformational congregations? Classis.

Classis
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Continuity and Excellence in Classis Leadership

The Church Order wants to avoid the dangers associated with people who stay in their leadership role too long. I applaud that. Organizations get into ruts, things go stale, power-hungry people hold onto power, we are led by the willing instead of the capable, innovation becomes rare, vision dims, and who knows what else could befall us when we keep leaders in place too long. 

Classis
Blog
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Neo Liberal Conservatism

Neo Liberal Conservatism. What I mean to say with that made-up bit of jargon is that we need to get WAY past our current categories, or we won’t be able to think creatively about the Church today -- not our church, and not anybody’s church.

Classis
Blog
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Has There Ever Been A Moment Like This?

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...

Classis
Blog
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Praying for Renewal

In the plethora of meetings, schedules, and busyness, and our anxiety about decline - are we together taking the time to pause, to tune in, to pray, to really listen, and to discern together the path of obedience?

Classis
Blog
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Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit

Recently I was encouraged to read Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit, a book I probably would not have picked up on my own. The title set off my warning bells. Exactly why that is, I’m not even sure I know myself. Somehow I feared gimmickry or formula or an unspiritual pragmatism. But I read it, and I want to recommend it...

ClassisPastors
Blog
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Classis, Willard, and the Holy Spirit Conference

The power of classis - the strategic intersection between congregations and denomination. If you’ve been reading the CLASSIS network, you’ve already heard the invitation to consider the vital importance of classis renewal. So why wouldn’t it be one of the places we’d expect the Holy Spirit to be at work reforming the CRC? A few extra minutes designed to catch the breeze wouldn’t be amiss, right?

Classis
Blog
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Becoming Communities of Discernment

This is a time of significant questioning in the CRC – why are we shrinking so fast?  What should we do?  What structures do we need?  What kind of leadership?   What vision?   Are there resources for a sustainable and robust future?  Are we at risk of paralysis of polarization?  We need to do some heavy discernment together. 

Classis
Blog
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Classis and the System – a New Look at Classis Renewal

Conversations about change in the structure, culture, and leadership of the CRC are more and more beginning to recognize the strategic position and importance of classis.  This marks a change in how we are thinking about the denomination's future.  It's where change and church connect!  Classis renewal is coming of age!

Classis

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