Thursday, March 20, 2003

I have come to the opinion that congregational RULE is wrong...

Now, before my fellow Baptists get their panties in a bunch, here’s what I mean: In Luke 22:24-26, Jesus clearly teaches that his church is not about RULE, but about service. Any pastor or other paid staff person out there can affirm that one of the results of congregational RULE is statements containing the phrase, “ work for us....” WRONG! Professional staff WORK for God and SERVE the church. Committees WORK for God and SERVEthe church. Deacon boards WORK for God and SERVEthe church. Ministry teams work WORK for God and SERVE the church. Members of the congregation WORK for God and SERVEthe church.

So, what’s a Baptist to do with congregational RULE?

Be honest about what we mean by using terms that accurately reflect what we mean and, frankly, enforce to ourselves what we mean. Here’s the idea:

We believe that the Spirit of God speaks through the wisdom of the people and the wisdom of the leaders. Let’s brainstorm another term—a more accurate term—than RULE.

Let’s stop relying on majority vote for big decisions, and aim for unanimous vote. That’s right, 100% support. And if we don't get it, let's not be afraid to extend the business meeting and let those who voted "no" share their concerns with the people.

Start using smaller gatherings—bunches of them—to discuss changes and vision and mission. Insist that the leaders of these discussions foster an environment where even the quiet thinker types will feel comfortable enough to speak.

Don’t be afraid of disagreement, but insist that all discussions are truth-in-love discussions. Don't be afraid to confront those who don't speak the truth in love.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to leave some questions unanswered.

That's it for now... Feel free to add your comments!

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Yesterday in Talbot chapel Marty Russell spoke. She talked about the difficulty and necessity of sacrificial service, especially in our packaging-focused culture. Last night I commiserated with friends about how some church leaders seem to be rules-based rather than service-based. For those in the know, I’m not just talking about a select few in the church—it’s the whole thing. Jockeying for position, protecting our turf, not confronting sin because of what it may cost in the short run, and who knows what else—all of it goes directly against Jesus’ call for those who would come to him to come as a little child. Kids don’t care about they trappings of status. We’re supposed to be like that. We’re not. Sad.

Monday, March 17, 2003

And under the heading of too weird for words…

From UPI:

Faith: Woman marries herself
By Uwe Siemon-Netto
UPI Religion Editor
From the Life & Mind Desk
Published 3/12/2003 5:50 PM

WASHINGTON, March 12 (UPI) -- For Jennifer Hoes, a Dutch student, May 28 will be a doubly exciting day. She'll turn 30, and she'll be a blushing bride -- plus her own groom. In the Trouwzaal, or wedding room, of the City Hall of Haarlem in the Netherlands, Jennifer will marry herself…

Click for the whole story. There's more...
So, I have this assignment in my Educational Administration--it's one of those team assignments. Anyhow, we have to put together a proposal for a new Adult Ministry staff person. Let me just say that in putting together everyone's work schedule, I have a new respect for all those in church ministry.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

EC continued...

Ashley Cleveland...raw...real... she came in as a last minute replacement. It was sad about the other singer--car accident, or something--but this was a God thing. Don't even know how to describe the music that came from her. She sang and played guitar like the whole thing was an extension of her soul. Needless to say, I have purchased my first Ashley Cleveland CD (Second Skin). It has yet to come, so I'll blog more about it later...