Non-Negotiables for Church Staff

Christ Church Radyr
Image via Wikipedia

I was inspired by Alexandra Bornkessel to consider What Are Your Non-Negotiables?

I have four non-negotiables for church staff. They are:

  • Commitment – You need to be committed to Christ and to the mission of the church. If this is missing, there is really no use continuing a conversation about possible involvement.
  • Passion – You need to be passionate about the mission of the organization. You don’t have to be turning cartwheels whenever you are working, however you need at least a glimmer of excitement about what you are doing.
  • Hope – You must be hopeful about the future. This applies to the future of God’s kingdom coming fully into the world and to the future of the organization – the best days are ahead, not behind.
  • Flexibility – It is certain that there will be a changing environment both inside and outside the church. You need to be willing to flex in your responsibilities and pitch in when others need help, even if it is outside your primary responsibilities.

What are your non-negotiables for church staff?

Nothing to Do but Save Souls in the UMC

Gwennap Pit

There is no group, connection, cluster or network of churches that doesn’t have issues. Being connected is part of who we are as Christians. There is no use complaining, but great value in working in God‘s kingdom and renewal within the church. I ran across this advice in a post by Matt Judkins from Tim Keller via DJ Chuang’s blog and found it valuable enough to pass along to you.

I wonder where you’d go to find a truly missional denomination? I don’t know of any. For missionally minded churches, any denominational connection will bring you into relationship with some other churches and ministers who downright embarass you. This will be true of any ecclesiastical body with more than 5 churches in it. I don’t think that going independent and only staying connected in to a missional ‘network’–which has no disciplinary authority–is the answer either.

My counsel: 1) inhabit a denomination with a historic tradition you admire (Reformed, Lutheran, Anglican, Baptist) 2) stay in a denomination if it gives you space to follow your calling, 3) don’t be marginal to it–be active in the denomination, but 4) don’t be too absorbed in all its workings and especially not in its politics.

I agree with Matt and would clearly add Methodist as a historic tradition. As John Wesley admonishes us, “You have nothing to do but to save souls; therefore spend and be spent in this work.”

Resurrection Online Event: Kingdom of God

On Wednesday, January 13 at 12:00 noon central time, Resurrection Online will host our first midweek experience at

At The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, we are in the middle of a worship series in which we hope to experience Jesus Christ using the gospel according to Luke as our guide. Pastor Adam Hamilton will present additional teaching and information tied to the theme from this past weekend. The theme for this week is the Kingdom of God.

Will you join Resurrection Online tomorrow? You can find out more and RSVP via Twitter at:

Opportunity or Tragedy

A couple weeks ago, Dan Entwistle asked what I was doing at Discovery Ark preschool and he said,

Wherever you are there is either opportunity or tragedy.

As a pastor, I hope that this is true. I hope to see opportunities everywhere to be a catalyst for God’s work and be present with those who are in need of a reminder of hope in the face of tragedy.

That morning I happened to have the opportunity to pray with the teachers at Discovery Ark grieving the death of one of the young mothers whose child is a member of the preschool.

Tragedy / Opportunity

Opportunity / Tragedy

The Kingdom of God at CaMMp Sonflower

On Monday this week, I was blessed to have a small part in CaMMp Sonflower, a 4 hour day camp for people of all ages with special needs. The camp is a part of Matthew’s Ministry here at Resurrection. Here is a quick overview of the ministry:

As I watched the campers and volunteers gather in Wesley Covenant Chapel, I thought of some of the first words that Jesus proclaimed,

The kingdom of God is at hand.

I felt God present in that time and place in a profound way. Thank you to all the volunteers, leaders, and participants of Matthew’s Ministry and CaMMp Sonflower for sharing God’s kingdom here on earth.

God’s Work through Sinful People

I received this question from Craig via email. This question is in reference to this past weekend’s sermon which you can watch here.

This weekend Adam mentioned that “give us this day our daily bread” was in part an invitation to place our trust in God. He made reference to one of the scriptures that discusses the birds and how they are taken care of and they don’t worry, etc. He then gave his response to a question he frequently gets about how can he put his trust in God when so many people die of hunger every day. His response was that God works through people and that it is a distribution problem, not a supply problem. I agree with this, but what that means then is that you not only have to put your faith in God to provide, you also have to put some faith in fellow man. Given the brokenness of mankind, this is not very comforting. I know that if I personally was in need of say food, I would be worrying because I have to rely most likely on others, not God per say directly (since he works though others), for assistance. So I guess my question is, how do you reconcile putting your trust in God with the fact that he works through others who have a bad history of not doing the right thing, sometimes resulting in the actual death of people?

Craig, I think that you raise an excellent critique. It can be a bit scary sometimes to trust God’s work to sinful people. There have certainly been many examples throughout history of God’s people doing more harm than good – moving further away from God’s kingdom coming on earth rather than closer to that reality.

That being said, I believe and trust that God is at work through people throughout the world. I think an amazing witness to the power of the gospel is that the church has endured despite our worst and best efforts. My hope is that God is at work through even people like me. I believe that each person has the opportunity for redemption and a new life in Jesus Christ. We may not be able to live in a right way, but through God’s power we are able to move toward life as a deeply committed Christian.

What do you think?