The Destination or The Journey

  By Elaine May, CRCNA Women’s Leadership Developer Deuteronomy 34: 1-12 “Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land… Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I … Read More

We Need a Team

Photo: Unsplash In this series of 4 devotions, Liz shares lessons from her journey as a visionary leader called to create a Spirit-led movement that encourages, equips, and empowers women of all backgrounds to live into their God-given gifts and callings, and helps faith communities create healthy ministry environments where sisters and brothers can serve together, freely and fully. When … Read More

A Sabbatical for your Church

Photo: Unsplash A few years ago, Evergreen Ministries, the congregation I was pastoring, gave me a sabbatical. Over the summer, I enjoyed rest, reflection, and study. The reflection and study led to an in-depth study called “Kingdom Dreams: Building an Alternative Kingdom Community.” The sabbatical of that summer continues to shape and mold my work more than three years later. … Read More

Faith over Fear

Driving through my community, I’ve noticed signs in front of homes that say, “faith over fear.” I’ve done a bit of research and found that people give different meanings to those signs. But whatever the sign’s meaning, the words make me think of the Apostle Paul. Specifically, for Paul, “faith over fear” was connected to spreading the gospel, the good … Read More

A Step of Discernment – Defining Reality Part Five

We’ve been spending time looking at defining reality in our boards (consistory/council). We’ve looked at the culture that shapes our board 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 … Read More

A Step of Discernment – Defining Reality Part Four

Charles Olson’s book Transforming Church Boards into Communities of Spiritual Leaders has formed the foundation for this series of blogs. Before we go to the next part of defining reality, it is helpful to get an overview of his book. Charles Olson points out that the two most common complaints by those serving on church councils are: Our board (council/consistory) … Read More

A Step of Discernment – Defining Reality Part Three

In the previous two posts we looked at naming how the board (council/consistory) works together. What is the culture that shapes the board? Is it strategic, corporate, managerial, etc.? Alongside naming this reality is naming what’s expected of board members. What are the spiritual practices expected of board members? What kind of life do we expect board members to live … Read More

A Step of Discernment – Defining Reality Part Two

Part of the board’s (Council/Consistory) discernment work is to define the congregation’s present reality. Charles Olson in his book Transforming Church Boards into Communities of Spiritual Leaders points out that the board’s culture is an important area to define reality in. Only when the council names this reality can it move toward becoming a community of spiritual, discerning leaders. In … Read More

A Step of Discernment – Defining Reality Part One

Part of the board’s (consistory/council) discernment work is to define the congregation’s present reality. Charles Olson in his book Transforming Church Boards into Communities of Spiritual Leaders points out that the council’s culture is an important area to define reality in. Only when the board names this reality can it move toward becoming a community of spiritual, discerning leaders. Olson … Read More

Passing off critical work?

One of the interesting and perhaps a little bit disturbing realities in congregations seeking their God-given, hope-filled futures is having boards (consistory/council) that pass this critical work off to others because they have more important business to attend to. Passing off the calling of seeing the congregation’s God-given, hope-filled future reminds me of Scrooge and Marly. Scrooge says to Marly, … Read More