YES!* (maybe the problem is THEOLOGICAL) Point and Case Example https://katyandtheword.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/an-absolutely-r/
I know a lot of pastors who are trying to redo their committees, but the truth is I just don’t have any at my church.
Well I have two the deacons (our hospitality and care ministry) and facilities (the same four guys who have been taking care of the church for decades)……and that is about all we can support.
So when I want to have an Easter Program, do Christian Ed, Run a Farmer’s Market (which we did last summer and will again this summer), or do a play of Charlie Brown Christmas, run a breakfast/dinner, etc. The buck stops with me not a committee.
The session (my governing board) is 6 people, usually I have about 5 devoted people and 1 person who is too busy with “life” to be able to put a lot of time in. The session makes lots of decisions, but they also end up leading (almost) everything that isn’t already designated to the other two committees.
We only have 30-40 adults participating in church so about 6 who are too elderly (too being a relative term our facilities committee as a 70-something year old on it) and unable to do things. 6 people on session, 4 on facilities, 6 on deacons, plus 5 or 6 people who attend but aren’t really members (for whatever reason, probably so they don’t have to be on session, although technically these people could do committee work, but you don’t want to overwork the newcomer right)
((Too often we focus more on the structure of the church than the welcome for our new membership……))
Somehow the buck always stops with me. The session makes a decision, and often it reads as “we will support you as you do that” instead of “how can we build a team to do that”
I am not casting blame here. The church is only 30-40 people, some of whom are too infirm to take up the mantel of leadership, some of whom lead in spite of their age, some of whom attend but aren’t members, and the rest serve, and serve and serve…
So the question is, is there a way to do this without committees? How do we do all the “work” of the church that needs to get done? How do we streamline? How do we garner support? How do we get the community on board?
Committees are out, I’m ready for a new way to plan!
In light of atheism, etc! Here’s what I don’t know……
When I worked at the Psychiatric Hospital as a chaplain, one of the things I would do as often as possible was a Spiritual Assessment: Basically to get a feel of someone, their faith, and how it may or may not support them.
One of the questions was “Do you feel hope?”
And more than once the answer I got was, “no, not really, maybe someday I will.”
i.e. I’m hoping for hope
To me, this is the essence of the Christian question….
When a father brings his son in Mark 9 to be healed, Jesus says he can only be healed by belief, and the father says “I believe, help my unbelief”
In PCUSA we have a great deal of rules and order. We have systemized theology so that we have a complete (well complete as humans get get) picture–we…
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How can a pastor save a dying church??? read here to find out!
I’m going to go ahead and answer that question right now: No, she will not.
No amount of pastoral eloquence, organization, insightfulness, amicability, or charisma will take your congregation back to back to its glory days.
What then can your pastor do? She can make your board meetings longer with prayer and Bible study. She can mess with your sense of familiarity by changing the order of worship and the arrangement of the sanctuary. She can play those strange new songs and forget about your favorite old hymns. She can keep on playing those crusty old hymns instead of that hot new contemporary praise music. She can bug you incessantly about more frequent celebration of Communion. She can ignore your phone…
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We say we want young people at church, but how do we make worship accessible for young families (that means the adults and the children) Here is one way
In the first issue of PLGRM, Rev. LeAnn Watkins, rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, MN, shares how after numerous attempts of increasing attendance of bible studies and other church-related programs, her staff decided to cancel it all – everything during the weekdays except seasonal services. You can hear her tell her story on the Episcopal Story Project. She says, “You can’t chase after folks and expect them to hear you. You have to be in front of them when they are coming toward you. So we’ve tried to ask the question, ‘How do we stop chasing people, and get in front of people?'” I have to say that I ask myself the same question.
Not unlike many churches, I can no longer assume that those sitting in the pews are familiar with Bible stories such as Noah and the Ark, Jonah and the Whale…
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