mgpcpastor's blog


2 Comments

Group-Centered Leadership (via Dan Hotchkiss)

Dan Hotchkiss observes that churches of a certain size tend toward staff-centered leadership structures. The first advantage of that structure is that they usually depend on one leader, and any disruption to that leader can have an inordinately disruptive effect on the organisation.
He then points out a second, more philosophical disadvantage that resonates with my understanding of how a local church should function.

A second disadvantage of staff-centered structures is a disadvantage only if you believe, as I do, that committed groups are capable of making better decisions than individuals can. I don’t always enjoy group decision-making, but I have found again and again that a community willing to be patient with people’s differences and indecision will correct and improve the insights of even the most gifted individuals. If you agree with me that wide participation adds an essential element to a congregation’s search for truth, then a strictly staff—centered congregation seems wrong. Even if the staff-centered model were always more effective at producing practical results, it would leave me dissatisfied because it does not make use of every member’s gifts for discerning the congregation’s mission. This concern, at bottom, is theological: I think each of us comes with a built-in antenna tuned to the fight frequency to hear the promptings of the Spirit, and congregations ought to take advantage of it. I also believe what people call the “politics” of congregations has a good side because a group in conversation can perceive more about what is good and right than the sum of what its members can perceive alone. For these reasons, I choose congregational participation with its messiness, even though I sometimes envy the efficiency of the staff-centered way.

Dan Hotchkiss, Governance And Ministry, Rowland & Littlefield, 2016, pg 42.


Leave a comment

Different Now by Andy Gullahorn

Different Now.
From Andy Gullahorn’s album Everything As It Should Be.


Leave a comment

Saturday Flight

Thanks to Jeroen for taking me up for a couple of hours in a Cessna on Saturday afternoon.

It was wonderful.


Leave a comment

Sale Of Gifts 2019

The annual MGPC Sale Of Gifts (auction of Harvest Thanksgiving items) is taking place.

I’m looking at YoYo biscuits, Dark Choc Rocky Road and Florentines.


Leave a comment

The Difference Between Feedback And Instruction (via Dan Rockwell)

Reading this post by Dan Rockwell provided a moment of clarity on the difference between feedback and instruction.
Good feedback energises performance, it doesn’t discourage effort.

In a recent workshop, I invited a participant to knock a small box off a stool using a cookie. She stood with her back to the stool and tossed the cookie over her shoulder – without looking. (The cookie was wrapped.)
The audience was instructed to remain silent. The first toss hit the ceiling and dropped about two feet behind her.
Her second attempt flew about half way to the stool. But she couldn’t see where it fell.
I asked the audience to give her feedback. Someone in the second row said, “Throw it harder.” Another said, “Hold your hand a little higher.”

Stop:

I stopped the process and said, “That’s not feedback. That’s instruction. Let’s try again.”
Another participant said, “You were about half way to the target.” I asked her to try again.
The cookie fell short by about a foot. “Give her feedback.”
“Your line is perfect,” someone said. Another responded, “You were about a foot short and too low.”
On her fifth try, she knocked the box off the stool. Everyone exploded with applause.

Read the whole post at Leadership Freak.


Leave a comment

My Saviour, My God – Sunday Songs

My Saviour, My God by Aaron Shust harvests the lyrics of the hymn ‘I am not skilled to understand’ adds a chorus in case you couldn’t figure out the original was about Jesus, and is set to straightforward pop/rock tune.
It’s one way to get substantial lyrical sentiment into contemporary churches.

The lyrics:
1.
I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at his right hand
Stands one who is my Savior
2.
I take him at His word and deed
Christ died to save me: this I read
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my Savior
Pre-Chorus.
That He would leave His place on high
And for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior
Chorus.
My Savior Loves, my Savior Lives
My Savior’s always there for me
My God; He was, my God; He is
My God; is always gonna be
4.
Yes, living, dying: let me bring
My Strength, my solace from this spring
That He who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior
Chorus.
(Repeat Chorus)
Repeat verse 1 to finish.

Words and Music: Aaron Shust | Dorothy Greenwell
© 2005 Bridge Building Music, Inc. (Admin. by SHOUT! Music Publishing


Leave a comment

New City Catechism Question and Answer 11

Question 11
What does God require in the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments?

Answer
Sixth, that we do not hurt, or hate, or be hostile to our neighbor, but be patient and peaceful, pursuing even our enemies with love. Seventh, that we abstain from sexual immorality and live purely and faithfully, whether in marriage or in single life, avoiding all impure actions, looks, words, thoughts, or desires, and whatever might lead to them. Eighth, that we do not take without permission that which belongs to someone else, nor withhold any good from someone we might benefit.

This track covers Questions 9 to 12.