I'm a rather recently retired pastor and former High School English teacher who's serving by doing some interim work, recently at Manhattan CRC, MT. Shirley and I have established a condo home in Byron Center, near some kids and grandkids, friends and the big lake.
Posted in: A Better Way to Select the Officers of Synod?
As a one-time officer of Synod, I'd suggest..."If it ain't broke, don't waste good minds fixing it."
Posted in: A Better Way to Select the Officers of Synod?
OK, Keith, let's see what this small mind might suggest.
1. Have Classes nominate those from their midsts that have demnstrated their ability to give leadership, make decisions, and understand procedure. Most years there are more nominations than needed. With the nominations, give some qualifications, endorsements and recommendations/testimonials.
2. If the above leads to only 3 or so for each position, that's sufficient. Popularity and being well-known, unless it's a matter of noteriaty, is not all bad. Persons, including pastors, deacons and elders, become known for generally good reasons indicating some ability that may apply to the office.
3. Somewhat tongue in cheek, but give a "Synod Procedure" test to all. Officers should be aware of the material coming in front, but almost more imporantly, the procedures that are possible ways of dealing with the unusual. (I believe Wm K. demonstrated this ability well on several occasions requiring judicious calls to restrain action at times etc. ) Possibly a qualification could be a chairman of an advisory committee or reporter of the same for respective officers.
4. Elminate the host church's pastor from elimination (Sorry Reginald/Reggie) He or she may not be the best qualitied, but due to their initial exposure, always make for a good runoff. ( I did enjoy R's sense of humor too though.)
5. Synocial experience of at least a few ought to be a basic. How do we get elders more eager to come? Disqualify pastors who now come as elders. This distorts the balance of clergy and elders/deacons. Pastors should come as pastors, and commissioned pastors as pastors if they have the theological training, not necessarily those CP's based on their staff position as Worship Pastor or Outreach Pastor.
6. Appreciate an appropriate self awareness that some just don't serve best in those capacities. Some humbly suggest they'll serve in any capacity but shouldn't consider it at all. I delighted in my first classis experience when a colleague was supposed to take a turn by squence suggested to chair and declined, saying, " I don't even chair council or family meetings, why would I try to chair this unruly bunch." Applause and "Amens" affirmed his self-denial and honest awareness.
7. Trust that God's church will not fall apart at one Synod becaue an officer didn't quite meet all the requirements. He's not alone on the podium. In fact, there always the George Vinks among the delegation who'll entertain the others with their regular, required, but often unapprciated, "Point of Order, Mr. President." Anyhow, here you have some thoughts from a smaller than others' mind.
Posted in: What Should the Church Do When a Child, Grade 2, Is Too Old for Infant Baptism and Too Young/Not Ready for Believer's Baptism?
Thanks for your thoughts on this common matter. I'd be even more appreciative if you'd take those thoughts and work them into an article for the BANNER. Something similar to what Kuyvenhoven did on a Baptism article years ago would be in Q&A form to make it easily digestible. We need more emphasis on the covenantal aspect of baptism, and get away from the adult or infant terminology. You've got a good grasp of it....expand it, share it, the CRCNA needs it as it continues to deal with the faith formation of its youth, and do some catch up with its non-informed others.... Thanks!
Posted in: The Normal Christian Life
Thanks, Duane. Good reflection and reminders for me.
Posted in: Continuing Education for Ministers - U.S.
Once again a very useful suggestion. We need to be careful to encourage pastors to do continuing education, while at the same time not be strapped financially to do so. The costs, as you indicate so gently, should not be part of the taxable compensation package. Accountability will encourage both pastor and those in the congregation responsible. Thanks for your good encouragement.
Posted in: Advisors and the Collateral Benefits of Synod
Aside from the "higher" that Lambert correctly resists/protests, I appreciated Paul's thoughts regarding the impact or impressions that folks experience being delegated and present. I had encouraged a Calgarian female elder who had "a blast" being there,and I know contributed to the conversation in the advisory committee she served. She'll go back to Calgary and RPC and let the folks know that some good things happened in Pella.
Again, we need to look for the best, most qualified to fill positions of leadership and administration, even when they're not the "higher" places.....either that or have a hiatus of a year without them, and see if the local church collapses...which it will NOT! I do think it's a mistake to have the past leaders stick around as long as the BOT suggests, accepted by Synod 2014. Which, by the way, as a more seasoned attender, delegated or not, was a pleasant synod. Even the youngest delegate seemed to be enjoying it! One cannot lament the result if one doesn't participate.
Posted in: Why We Don't Want To Rent Space
It must be a "Central Valley thing." I understand that Visalia CRC has been doing the same thing? They even share the church copier....how stewardly is that?
Posted in: Classical Appointment, an Endangered Species?
I appreciate your comments. We may think we're unique,but we're still part of the greater body. When we think we need to have just our own pastors/staff lead, then it's a subversive way of the hand to say to the foot, "We don't need you!" or other such focusing on self.... The classical appointment could/should remain as a tangible expression that we're interested in each other's well being, get to know each other a little, and consequently work together more effectively at classical and denominational level. Pastors have to give some leadership to keep the bonds/sinews that connect us.....
Posted in: You Write the Caption!
We're not afraid of the slippery slope!
Posted in: A Strange Practice With a Strange Name
Thanks Kathy for the reminder regarding the update. I certainly agree with LT that the practice's being "tied" to the Lord's Supper four times a year was most regrettable. Changing the frequency of the Lord's Supper helped a little, but I made the decision many years ago to make it a part of every Council meeting.....A proper and honest implementation would help avoid the kind of surprises and unhappiness that now happen, leading to the application of Article 17, at least for some situations. Then a Council could possibly suggest to the pastor that he/she could, if not should, consider another call or calling.... It was a wise group who introduced the concept but again, it requires appropriate implementation. The honesty required, the communication expected, may be the difficult.
I do recall with a smile a humorous response when upon doing the encouraging, one of the elders received considerable accolades and gratitude for the watchfulness and visitation taking place in his "district," the elder responded with a twinkle in his eye, "Cut the ^&*(%^ and put it in the paycheck." A delightful memory of a ministry moment.
Colleagues galore, may I again encourage the perusal of the wisdom of ages as reflected in the Church Order....there's a lot there that'll help avoiding its application when there's no more encouragement and it's hitting the fan.
Posted in: How the Church Brings Life and Water in Common Ways
Good read that encourages us. I think Sacramento is blessed to have you as a pastor in its midst.
Posted in: What Wise People Know
Your summary, sharing made for encouraging reading. It's applicable for planters as well as pastors in "organized" and maybe even declining churches, of which we have sufficient, if not way too many.
I'd like to underscore the one observation/wisdom shared regarding pastoring the sheep the pastor has and not using them just to get more sheep. In observing the church from a more and more removed vantage, I'm seeing a reluctance on pastors' part to be the shepherd, although I'm glad the ranching model appears to have vanished.
"...taking care of people" is the still the pastor's responsibility and it'll receive a promised blessing, as Jesus told Peter after restoring him to his leadership role.
Just some thoughts from a pastor somewhat out to pasture...