A Note from Pastor Dave…
June 3, 2013 by Pastor Dave Scifres
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
(John 15:8 - NRSV)
Last month, I wrote about a three-fold discipleship process that included, connecting people to God in Jesus Christ, engaging people in congregational community, and impacting our community and world. I suggested that by focusing our efforts on this process we might be more effective in our mission and vision to make disciples of Jesus Christ, so that people may experience hope. My firm belief is that being more effective in mission will help us bear the fruit that glorifies God Jesus describes in John 15.
The question we might consider is, “How might we organize differently to increase our focus on this discipleship process?” Today we are organized into dedicated committees that are guided by the pastor through committed chair people, and report to a grace-filled Administrative Council. Approximately 125 people participate on these committees. These committees are “hard structures” organizationally, meaning that they have met, and will continue to meet at some frequency. If they all met monthly that would mean 125 “effort hours” would be required each month just for the meetings!
I am convinced that with the busyness we experience in today’s world, this is way too much time spent on meetings. I am convinced people will make time to bear fruit that makes a difference in their lives and our world, but attendance records for our committees suggest people are less interested in spending time in meetings.
Leading organizations today are abandoning “hard structure” organizational systems and are utilizing “soft structure” teams that come together temporarily to accomplish some task or project. Fewer people are involved in coordinating, and more people participate actively in the rewarding work of executing the initiatives. I believe our church might benefit from becoming one of these “leading organizations.”
To do this a volunteer director might be established for each of the three areas of the discipleship process. These directors would join with the other staff members in coordinating our ministries under the vision, leadership and direction of the pastor. As they coordinate ministry, they would draw in different members of the congregation to help with the execution of the ministry activities. The pastor would work with, and be accountable to a “governing board” that would handle the administrative leadership of the church, establish goals, evaluate the results of ministry, and serve as gatekeepers for guiding principles they would develop for how ministry should be done.
I believe this structure, or a similar structure, would help us simplify and focus so that God might bear much fruit among us!
Sincerely in Christ,