I have appreciated the discussion that has taken place around this “new” model for my church council and I want to highlight comments/suggestions that were submitted. If you have any thoughts about encouraging a church council to be more mission minded please submit them.
One thing that I suggested is that after the assigned council person for the month lead devotions, that I would lead the council in reading scripture; maybe the texts assigned for the upcoming Sunday. Then Carolyn stopped by and suggested that after the first month of doing this I should encourage a pair of council people to lead the reading of scripture instead of the pastor doing it every month. Scripture is something that all people are encouraged to engage and is something that anyone can read. Carolyn is right. Even though I did not intend to communicate that the pastor has be the one to read scripture the unwritten message was just that. We are indeed the “priesthood of ALL believers”.
Unlikely left a comment where he suggested starting the council meeting asking people what they are praying for. At first people were a little hesitant, but after a few years Unlikely is filling up an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper. I believe this is also a great way to connect people with one another. When you know what/who someone else is praying for, you get a glimpse of that person’s heart. It also makes the assumption that everyone is praying (and as Christians we should be).
Then Eric left a comment just recently about prayer and scripture. He said, “Can you imagine the apostles of the early church getting together to make decisions without prayer and Scripture?” That seems unheard of, yet we need to make an effort to include prayer and scripture more when we meet as a church council. I have found that many people are just not comfortable praying in front of others, yet they are comfortable talking to their best friend. I/We need to help people understand that prayer is not something that has to be done a certain way but rather it’s simply talking to your best friend. Maybe this could be a devotional topic/discussion for an upcoming council meeting. Maybe Unlikely’s suggestion about prayer will help here.
Thank you for the comments that have come thus far. They have definitely given me (and hopefully you) something to think about. If you have anything else you would like to contribute to this discussion please leave a comment. This series will be continued…