What did I like?
- focus on team-building
- the helping pastors deal with really difficult members of their congregations
- the addition of mentoring groups
- pastors have support groups
- pastors have mentors
- staff is trained to support pastors in doing their job
- emphasis on outward looking in their congregation -
- actually doing the great commission,
- making the congregation responsible for action as well
- the focus on the pastor as the equipper and teacher of the congregation
- emphasis on the denomination helping it's churches be outward focused
- pared down the staff so they only paid for what they needed to pay for
- pared down the services/departments so they could focus on what they needed to
- used their money wisely
- development of a really good resource centre that all churches could use
- the "lets suspend for three years" the old way of doing things and just try this "new way of doing things".....reduces the fear levels of people because the old way of doing things is still an option.
- if your church doesn't grow numerically, the pastor is ignored
- if you don't want to change (or do things our way), the pastor is considered unimportant
- the focus on doing things in a business-like manner
- the lack of consideration of how important families are
- the extreme focus on team-building
- the extreme focus on...if the church is not growing numerically...it's all the pastors fault
If the church didn't grow...it's the pastors fault.
If the church didn't change it's way of doing things...it's the pastors fault.
AND since it's the pastor's fault....we won't help him OR consider him important if change isn't forth-coming.
The pastor HAS to be a forceful leader according to this book.
I'm not so sure that it's a biblical approach.
In the NT testament we find pastors working together with their congregations, we find Paul encouraging people to support their leaders, we see joint ministry.
What we don't see is....do it my way.
What we see is pleading, encouragement, guidance and teaching.
So, this book ended up being an interesting read. I had to think about what the author was saying and see if ..despite the negatives that I didn't like and cropped up continually (which made me not want to read it), there were good things in it that deserve to be considered.
IF the RCA denomination as a whole actually wants to do its 10 year goal....what it is really doing to help the individual congregations to do that?
The American baptist church in one region said hey...we want to grow ... and they did everything it could to enable that. They suspended their regular way of doing things so that they could literally POUR all the money it possibly could, into evangelism, leadership training, development of good support staff and so forth.
I don't see the RCA doing that at all. In fact it adds things...like a 3 year dialogue on homosexuality. It adds more demands for cash from the congregations for operational expenses.
Quite frankly, if our denomination it would follow the lead of the ABC in the handling of money, development of good regional resource centres and pastor mentoring/support, it would go along way to easing some of the pains in our denomination right now.
If people actually focused on doing the great commission....all these other worries would fall to the way side. If we were really concerned about the needs of "joe neighbours" soul...our concerns about feminism, gay rights, social issues, and the like would be so much lessened. We'd be more likely to do being what God wants us to do. GOD wants us to be out there doing the business that HE set out for us to do. We are to
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20 ESV)