Does The Church Need a Shake Up?

You know what? i think we all need a bit of a shake up. And maybe a wee bit seasoning. I often wonder if we as church leaders being educated and trained in secular universities have allowed modernity to shape our church and ministries. Could we have placed reason at the centre of our thinking and omitted live out the importance of the life of faith? At the core of an effective church there must be a desire for worship and mission. Abd I believe that caomes through faith. Now both of these activities are based more on trust and faith than reason. While rationale is an essential part of our beings as humans we also must recognise that we will never encounter the living God through reason alone. Everything we do as a community must stem from these two primaries, worship and mission. Jesus put it another way, he said, "Love God and love your neighbour". To love God is to worship God. To love your neighbour is to introduce her to worship. This is mission, nothing more or nothing less. One thing is for certain worship demands that we take the whole breadth of Christian service and offer it to God as a sacrifice of praise. Perhaps we need to define our core ministries as worship and mission. All our central administration should be focused toward the service of these two functions. If this was the benchmark for all our activities, the shape and success of the church might be quite different as would Presbytery. Lets think for a moment what that shape might look like. Presbytery a Centre of worship and Mission Excellence. The model I am suggesting reflects the way many of the mega churches organize themselves. Within the independent denominations. They operate out of a resource model. All their training, and missionary enterprise, including their social outreach programmes are co-ordinated out of the resource centre. The staff for all their satellites are also nurtured and grown out of the resource centre. Budgeting for ministry and vision is co-ordinated and administered at an area level from the resource centre. If we translate this to our Church of Scotland situation, it would mean that we would devolve much of the work of the present central committees to the Presbyteries which we would transform into Centres of Worship and Mission. Out of these living dynamic worship centres would come the resources to carry out the mission of the local congregations. These centres might be viewed like cathedrals, places of inspiration. Each centre would have its own ethos and speciality. No two presbyteries or centres would be the same. The leadership of the local church would be nurtured and enhanced through such places. Advisors and innovators would be found within this model and they would be the support to the vision shapers of the local parishes. Such advisors would be recognized practitioners in their own right. This Presbytery/cathedral centre would have a leadership model defined in terms of worship and mission reflecting the gifts of the Spirit spoken of in Ephesian 4. Administration is a key gift in the church would be left to those who have the gift. It should not be underestimated or looked upon as unspiritual. The administrators would be the engine that would keep the mission of the church on target. Under this model a Presbytery's role would change to become a dynamic living community of communities. Such a centre would have a Director who would co-ordinate and lead the strategic plan of the Presbytery. Interdependency a Community Attribute We might begin to understand the theology of this shape through the word interdependency. I believe this is a key word that helps us shape and understand the relationship of Presbytery to the local congregations and the congregations to each other. Presbytery becomes the catalyst to promote and model interdependency. Since our core activities are worship and mission, Presbytery becomes the storehouse of all the practical ingredients that will allow local congregations to become agents of authentic worship and mission in the local community. This might mean that congregations if they so wish might no longer inhabit a building known as church but find another creative way to express their identity within a community. There is much here for us to explore with all the new thinking that is coming out of the "Emerging Church" movement. A Summary In conclusion Presbytery Centres would become the model of good practice when it comes to Worship, Mission and Administration. Each Presbytery would seek to model and develop and supply where needed the resources that are required to be a local church in an area. Thus Presbyteries might have a different ethos to reflect the local dynamic. However, Presbytery would be built around a central worshipping congregation that was owned and financed by all the congregations in the Presbyterial area indeed the worshipping congregation of Presbytery would in theory be the collective of all the congregations in presbytery. A Presbytery could have its own theological college, for the training of all local ministries. Each Presbytery would use the local expertise for teaching in such a college. This might mean that certain congregations would become the experts in certain areas of equipping. Certain colleges might well attract students from different parts of the world. Indeed it would be understood that part of the teaching programme would reflect the challenge of world mission and the opportunities to serve abroad. In suh centres boundaries would be continually stretched. The congregations within the presbytery bounds would service the Central Presbyterial Programme. A variety of styles of worship would take place in the Presbytery Centre perhaps even on a daily basis to inspire others to try similar things in the local situation. It could be that a Presbytery would be resourcing up to forty churches. In certain areas it would be a real encouragement if local ministries also found themselves being used to service and encourage the whole community of Presbytery. It might mean that for some the central cathedral style was more attractive, and they would gravitate to it for support and encouragement and inspiration. Others would continue to see their focus at a local level perhaps simply because of the distances involved in travelling to the centre. However as time would develop, and with an inspirational teaching programme congregations would be renewed from the ministry received through interdependency. Well if you have stuck with these posts i'd love to hear from you and get some comments on their viability.
1 Comment

Posted By: haslett insurance tucson   On: 21 Oct 2010   At: 10:27am

I am glad you wrote that post!?!

Leave a reply