If we are going to transform the classis into a force for congregational renewal, we’re going to have to rethink some things.
Strong effective congregational leadership is not necessarily the best predictor of strong effective classis leadership. Great teachers don’t always make great principals.
For whatever reason we are in a cultural spot where the greater witness seems to need to be embodied in a local church and the Christian voice needs speak from a local church. What does this mean for your classis?
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.
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.
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?
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...
If the delegates would vote yes, opposite to the vote of classis , then what is the point of classis voting on it at all?
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