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Dave, thanks for a helpful word on this subject. I'd just like to suggest one additional thing to consider. The underlying assumption in your article is that council members are enjoying unity of ecclesiology. I mean, they would basically agree on what the church should be and do in the contemporary context. Why wouldn't they? The problem is that there are many competing interpretations on that point represented by the members of a council. For some the vision of faithful ministry resembles that of the most popular church in the area. For others, it resembles the programs and budgets from a past time. My experience has been that Elders (more often than Deacons) are quite willing to evaluate the pastor's work, but they do so according to their own working ecclesiology. When that happens, the pastor often feels that he or she has been weighed in the balance and found wanting, and at the same time, he is thinking, "But so what?" In short, that disunity handicaps the work of mutual accountability.


I am wondering about this million dollar grant. Is it assumed pastors need more resources or training to handle their own unique financial challenges? What a lot of money to devote to this when there are a lot of people struggling to be able to afford the whole seminary experience (like my son, for one).

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