Philosophy of Ministry Thoughts:
Over the years I have been quite involved with governance changes. Although these kind of changes
need to be carefully addressed, sometimes spending energy changing governance can be a smoke screen or a behind-the-back way of dealing with difficult relationships. We don't "fix" relationships in the church by "fixing" processes or changing policies.
The Bible has almost nothing to say about governance and much to say about relationships. I find there are both sick and healthy churches with a wide variety of governance models- demonstrating that governance isn't necessarily the key issue. While
governance is not the key to good health, it can make a significant difference, if we are not avoiding the subject of healthy confrontation.
We have discovered each church is very different in its culture, including DNA, history, approach to ministry,
the unique challenges they face, and personalities of the individuals who are drawn to identify with them. Moreen and I do have a tool kit for encouraging healthy change, but we focus more on organic change than on specific strategies.
We are wary of formulas which may have worked in another context. We seek to leave the church more empowered to move ahead, but we bring no guarantees. A church body, by its very nature, is focused on Christ the Head, and is healthiest when
members are spiritually healthy, doing what they do best, while contributing to the good of the whole.
Eugene Peterson, one of my spiritual mentors, informs our philosophy of ministry with these thoughts: "The way of Jesus cannot be
imposed or mapped---it requires an active participation in following Jesus as he leads us through sometimes strange and unfamiliar territory, in circumstances that become clear only in the hestations and questionings, in the pauses and reflections where we
engage in prayerful conversation with one another and with him. After all, we are not just learning how to think right about God...And we are not just practicing ways to behave right before God....We are already "on the way" acquiring insights and developing
habits of obedience....gradually and incrementally maturing in the way so that who we are and what we do is realized coherently and comprehensively." (The Jesus Way p.19)