February 5 2010
We returned some days ago from ministry in the Montana District - a district of about 80 churches, scatttered across wild and beautiful country and led by a wonderful team. In our meetings, there was an unusual sense of unity and cross-generational working together. I have tried to think about what we experienced there that contributed to that very special, and often unusual feature.
1. They structured the sessions so that all were multi-phased. Involving question and answer times, dialog, and especially round table times. There was something in both content and style for everyone.
2. In setting up the round table groups they purposely mixed up the generations so that they in fact had to mix it up together. That greatly enriched the dialog and built relationally across generations.
3. A young woman - a church planter - led the group times....forcefully, happily and cleverly.
4. The Superintendent set the tone by his openness and willingness to follow the lead of others.
5. They spoke candidly and with feeling about how they valued unity and love in the context of strong relationships.
If we want to keep from being "the good old boys" clubs....we must think in these ways and more.
Jesus...was surrounded by children, called the young and adults to leadership, and included everyone in the sphere of His healing and teaching ministries. "This is how they will know that you are My disciples," He said, "if you love one another." He built relationships with men and women (radical indeed for His day) and, walking everywhere He went, He built relationships with so many that in just two years, they could be trusted with the human workings of the building of His church.
May we be like Him...today, everywhere we go, and in all that we are doing.