Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Evenings in Greenview

Summer Evening Series in Greenview - note amended starting time of 6pm (click on image to enlarge). 
Services will be followed by Cafe Fellowship time at 7pm. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Strawberry Tea

Strawberry Tea at Greenview yesterday - what a class idea (and lots of funds raised for the Children's Centre in Tanzania). Thanks to Linda and the team. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pollokshaws Community Carnival

The Saturday before mid-summer's eve in Scotland - 8oc, wet & windy! But the Greenview Gazebo didn't blow away and there was plenty of fun with face painting, games, free cake provided by the Greenview Cafe, and even hand massage. Thanks to all who made a pretty foul day so enjoyable. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Evening Times Awards

Congratulations to the G43 Reform team who were finalists at the Evening Times  'Streets Ahead' awards for all the work cleaning up Pollokshaws over the past year.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Love the Litterbug - Hate the Litter

The great Pollokshaws clean-up continues - great turnout from Greenview folks. Thanks to Graeme McKerracher at Pollokshaws CofS for organising these.

More great pics at G43 FB PAGE

Friday, June 08, 2012

Lessons in Leadership

Below are my notes from a conference I attended on Church Leadership. There are a few things I'm not  100% convinced by - but overall I think it's pretty sage advice. I've not mentioned where the conf was just in case I've inadvertently misrepresented anything they said.

Pastoral Care
Had debated splitting membership into Alphabetical Blocks – but decided to leave PC as a general/organic thing – to let relationships form and be managed naturally across the fellowship.

Elders’ Meeting Chairmen
Rotate Chair – as no-one to everyone’s taste & all have different emphasis.

Term Times
All non-staff elders have 3 years terms. Staff elders take Sabbatical time to get breaks.

Elders need to be meeting with other elders regularly, e.g. lunches - to strengthen relationships / understanding.

Pastor left in charge of teaching as long as doing a decent job. Other elders /  staff given similar remits.

No glamour in eldership – too difficult / painful when dealing with real lives & issues. Not a calling for those looking for prestige or position. Focus is on strugglers / difficult cases. Like being the ER department of church – constant trauma / stress.

Big challenge for elders = discouragement. Sometimes best you get is being personally faithful while others reject truth.

Elders should be people you would naturally turn to with Bible questions or life issues.

Teaching (Pastor) is what attracts people to church – community is what keeps them there.

Young Men
Young men are stupid. Sharpness of Vision – little Depth of Perception.

Need eldership unity on...
n  On Gospel (sin – redemption – personal salvation)
n  On Doctrine (e.g. authority of Scripture)
n  On ‘Hot Buttons’ (e.g. Complimentarianism)

New Pastors want to change stuff – but they ‘make purchases they don’t know the price of’- e.g. they upset people much more than they realise over small things and lose long-term goodwill.

Lasting change comes from the pulpit – only God’s Word changes hearts.

Moved Services away from ‘19th Century Evangelical Variety Show’ format.

Mission Statements / Vision Days
Don’t have these.

Focus Days
Have elder’s days to discuss particular issues / topics, e.g. care of members.

Membership Meetings
Have 6x per year – include information updates and votes. Like Annual Business Meeting but more emphasis on being a family.

Report to elders individually. Don’t meet as a group - avoids conflict & confusion.

Have tried to de-emphasise music quality – focus on singing together whatever quality of music. ‘Keep music mere’ – don’t let band dominate / don’t be lead by it.

Best growth is steady & long term.
If you are committed long term you don’t have to do things in a hurry. Long term ministries don’t need to be hasty or pushy.
You over-estimate what you can do in 1 year and under-estimate what you can do in 5.

What would you think about a Maths teacher who taught Maths but never corrected mistakes?

Have no formal programme for producing elders.
Rather seek to recognise those who are already acting as ‘elders’ – not ‘an office’ but a manner of life / godliness.

Avoid Professionalisation of Church
Oz Guiness: ‘When I meet a Buddhist monk I meet a holy man; when I meet a Christian Minister I meet a manager’.

Key Eldership Virtues
Self Control / Faithfulness / Reputation – example of godliness to flock.

Core theology
Sovereignty of God / Atonement (Penal Substitution) / Authority of Scripture / Exclusivity of Christ

Not – harsh / judgemental / shockable / performance orientated
Rather – gentle / humble / Cross-centred

Shared Distinctives
Ecclesiology / Baptism / Complementarian / Expositional / Word not Programme Driven.

Love for Congregation (not just theology)
n  Regular attendance at church
n  Wants to be with ‘his family’.
n  Track record of faithful service.
n  Not quarrelsome / conflicting.

Do they relate/serve across the congregation (are they cliquey / partisan)?

Elders nominate potential elders
n  They have best insight into demands / reality of eldership
n  They should have the best knowledge of potential candidates (avoid embarrassment of unsuitable people being proposed).

Ask for members feedback privately – keep congregation involved.
If people object – they must say why (if good reason elders must know about it).

Don’t Raise the Bar
Watch that elders don’t raise qualifications once they’re in.
Avoid an ‘inner circle’ mentality.

Make your church a difficult place for nominal Christians to attend.

Structural fixes won’t make your church friendly
Change personality of church to ‘all member care’
Make it normal for Christians to care for others without programmes or permissions.
When someone is in trouble do members respond or just leave it to the staff/elders.

Pastoral` Groups – not a substitute for natural relationships
Elders should know members across the church.

Meaningful Membership
Resist consumer culture
Want members who are committed to whole congregation
Avoid members who want to go to SG’s but not services.

Don’t just be a ‘pulpiteer’ but a discipler.
Encourage growing Christians to invest in others – reproducible fruit.

5% of members will take up 90% of eldership time (neglect of 95%?)
Don’t be lead by members who have no concern to make your eldership a joy (Heb 13:17).

Pray for humility in leadership
Avoid culture of criticism / second guessing.

Be bold – ask for trust.
Give authority away - let others lead.

‘Church’ is the best programme for discipleship & evangelism.
It should be the display of God’s goodness & character.