I have had the privilege of spending time with Ray Pitman, a member of Resurrection, over the past several months. Several years ago, I officiated at the funeral for his wife, Betty, and we reconnected this summer when I lead worship at Leawood one Saturday night. I found his perspective on capacity to be particularly helpful as presented to an executive MBA class at the Helzberg School of Management at Rockhurst University.
As drinking glasses exist in different sizes, people have varying capacities in life and work. If you fill a glass to the point of overflowing it won’t do any good to keep putting water in it. When your own glass is overflowing you have to be able to recognize that and make sure that you are surrounded by other people who have some additional capacity.
I recently just finished Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results by Lovett H. Weems, Jr. and Tom Berlin. Along with other members of the senior staff, I read this in preparation for our semi-annual retreat today. I have been considering what it fruitful and effective ministry is like, especially in response to Kevin Watson’s post, Further Thoughts on Measuring Effective Ministry. I appreciated many of the principles put forth in this book. Here is a brief summary:
Fruitfulness is part of the character of God and the story told throughout scripture.
There is a clear difference between business and fruitfulness.
Always be clear about why you are doing anything in the life of the church, i.e. We have worship each week, so that…
Alignment between God’s vision and the vision of the leadership is essential for fruitfulness.
Capturing a creation story for an existing congregation can catalyze fruitfulness.
The entirety of God sized visions aren’t always revealed at the outset.
Fruitfulness is enhanced by the governing board, church staff and the congregation being on the same page about vision
As a church leader, paying attention to how you care for yourself is of utmost importance.
God gives the growth
Perhaps most helpful, I found a clear way to consider fruitful leadership:
“Fruitful leaders care about results because results are ways to go beyond merely filling a pastoral role to active participation in seeking results that we are convinced emerge from the gospel we preach.” (xvi, Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results)
I am glad that Chris Brogan had a good experience with church online at LifeChurch.tv. Chris is a well known social media practitioner and has a good deal of influence in some circles. He wrote about his experience with worship online at Digital Church.
I am glad that more people are spreading the word about church online. Resurrection Online (www.rezonline.org) is still in its infancy and has room to grow. A rising tide lifts all boats.
I recently came across the proposal for a Twitter Communion service and its subsequent cancellation. As Pastor of Resurrection Online, I have spent a good deal of time considering how sacraments are made available for those that worship online. I am still working on articulating clear guidance for Resurrection Online attender.
This proposal is particularly intriguing to me as it is from a British Methodist, who shares a similar theology and founder in John Wesley. Here is a video of the proposal.
What are your thoughts, feelings or opinions about this Twitter Communion?
I spent last week at a youth camp, Institute 2010: God’s All Stars, which is a ministry of the Conference Council on Youth Ministry of the Kansas East Annual Conference. This post is part of a series reflecting on the week and making applications for the local church.
Institute is an institution with the good and the bad that it brings. There are rich traditions and a history that brings the past to light and looks to the future. Many of the adult leaders at camp this summer remember an experience of the very same camp when they were young. One of the pastors among the adult leaders remembers feeling first called to ministry in the very place where we had morning worship during the week. However, the rich history has the side effect of narrowing the vision of what could be possible for a camp among the high school students of the Kansas East Conference. There are some practices that are clearly leftovers from time gone by and while faithful have ceased to be relevant.
What about in your local church? How has the past shaped who the community is today? In what ways does the history shape both the present and the future?