“Transformation”: Changing from What We Are to What God Wants
What's the Change We Want to Make?
… From activity-centered church toward faith-forming community
… From secular people to holy people
… from focus on our interests to focus on God’s business
Leading transformation requires the courage to act differently!
Tips and tools:
- Begin each meeting with more than a prayer from the pastor. A brief devotional time can remind people how their work in this meeting relates to the mission of the church and God’s world.
Finance Committee: Read Acts 6:1-7 and briefly discuss why the first "Finance Committee" was formed!
Nominations Committee: Read 1 Samuel 16: 1-13 and consider how God selects leaders. Discuss the implications for the nominating committee.
Trustees: Read Psalm 24:1 or Matthew 19:23 and consider the implications for trustee management of property.
- Have someone other than the pastor responsible for opening and closing the meeting. Over several meetings, have individuals share their hopes and dreams for their work.
- Use the Upper Room Daily Devotional for meeting devotions. There is a guide at the end of each issue.
- An order for Evening Prayer is in the back of the United Methodist Hymnal.
- Develop rituals that remind you that wherever two or three are gathered, Jesus promises to be there. Often, people who gather light a candle and remind one another that God is present. Pray for Holy Spirit guidance, and pause during discussions to allow people to pay attention to God’s nudges.
- The members of a committee can agree to pray for one another between meetings. Ask each person what the group can pray for him/her. At the next meeting, take a few moments to ask how each person is doing with the request he or she had. Celebrate successes and affirm and support those who continue to struggle.
- One congregation sends prayers each month to leaders to use for opening and closing meetings. Everyone in the church is praying the same prayer that month
- Invite quieter people to participate by asking if those who have not spoken want to add something.
- Remind people that the mission of the church is "making disciples for Jesus Christ in order to change the world." Discuss what this means in your community. Ask who in your community needs to experience God’s love and how your church can meet needs.
- Care for committee members who miss a meeting. Make contact and share the meeting discussion well before the next scheduled meeting so as everyone is included.
- Talk together about improving the way you work together. Perhaps a short retreat or half-day session around some great snacks is the way to refocus and transform your committee. Be ready for some resistance... and remember that changing habits and patterns is hard. Be persistent and the benefits will outweigh any discomfort!