Saturday, December 12, 2009

Touching Base! Part 66

The Round Table

I like the imagery of a round table with people sitting at it. To me it speaks of what a true team looks like – each aware of the others’ presence, listening, interacting, and supporting. Contrast that imagery with sitting in rows and looking at the back of the head in front of you. For many of us, our team experience is more characterized by “rows” versus “the round table”.

Several weeks back, we had an excellent Congregational Meeting. I know that for some, the words “excellent” and “Congregational Meeting” may not seem like words that belong together. However, believe me, the evening was an encouraging one: we heard a testimony from one of the men from the Bethel Houses ministry, we ate together, and then we interacted at round tables about key ministry issues with which Bethel is dealing. Each of the elders hosted a round-table discussion and took notes. We deeply value the team, and what the team has to say. While it is not our goal to act on every comment and idea it is our goal to listen, learn and implement where and when we feel God is leading. God often leads through the input of the team! You are part of that team if you call Bethel your home church.

On December 8th, the elders looked at all that had been said. We discussed our observations and how we thought some comments needed to be processed. I wanted to share with you some of the initiatives that have resulted from those meetings:
  1. We agreed that some of the comments would be good discussion material for our elders’ retreat that is being held on January 9th at Ewen Mackenzie’s house.

  2. Based on that evening’s input and other discussions we have had, we are looking at doing a teaching series on stewardship and evangelism in the New Year.

  3. Several times, the importance of prayer was mentioned. As an elders’ team we are grateful for this issue being raised. In response to this input, we are planning that our next Congregational Meeting (on Sunday, January 24th at 5pm) will not only include a potluck and ministry feature, but will also be a time of focused prayer. What better way to begin the New Year as a church, than to come together and present to God the many challenging issues and opportunities which we are facing? We are asking that you make this meeting a PRIORITY!
The New Testament is very clear about the importance of Churches being elder-led. However, the leadership mantle does not give someone a “blank cheque” to just go and do what they want. We are guided by God’s Word, empowered by the Holy Spirit and in partnership with the body of Christ. The round-table is a place that we can all grow stronger and develop the relationships that are necessary as we minister together in these challenging and changing times!

“..., ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. [21] She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ ” (Matthew 1:20-21, NIV)


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