A Step of Discernment – Defining Reality Part Five

We’ve been spending time looking at defining reality in our councils. We’ve looked at the culture that shapes our council and at the kind of people who are typically nominated and elected to our council.

Many of us will see a need at this point to take some steps forward—especially if we are to fully live into both the forms for ordination and Olson’s vision of a Church Council that is a community of spiritual leaders.

To get to this place, church councils need to take two important steps.

First, they need to start nominating and choosing people for the church council who reflect the kind of people spoken of in our forms of ordination. Along with this, the nominees need to be people who are committed to the ministry that God has called that church to, who are committed to the values of the congregation, and who are willing to put aside their own agendas to discern God’s heart for the congregation.

Second, it will be helpful for the council to have an “Order of Mission”. The concept of a “Mission Order” is deeply rooted in the tradition of the church. It is a code observed by a religious order to grow people in faith, to serve those around them, and to honor God. Living within a mission order, people covenant with each other to do life together (they are a community, not just some people coming together to make decisions) because they are mutually committed to God, to each other, to values, and to a goal that goes beyond self-interest.

Creating a mission order takes the time and the commitment of the council to pray, reflect, look at the church’s history, and study God’s words to create a solid and lasting order. Once the order is established, however, it becomes the guide for how the council does life together and creates a beloved community. As the council lives out this life together it brings life and health to the congregation in both word and example.

For more information on an order of mission go to https://www.missionorder.org.

As your council moves forward to best serve God, His church, your community, and the world – what are the crucial steps you need to make to define reality and then to reshape reality?

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