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From Belonging to Becoming: What if we put belonging first like Jesus did?

By: Mike Clarensau

Item # 50TW0114

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Church administrators today

Wed, 14 Apr 2010 - 3:13 PM CST

A growing trend in the Assemblies of God

MICHAEL MESSNER

SEVERAL YEARS ago a group of Assemblies of God pastors and church business administrators began meeting at seminars to exchange ideas. A network has developed in our Fellowship for the purpose of exchanging information and staying abreast of change. This article will share some of the things going on in the field of church administration and the issues that affect churches of all sizes.

A myriad of technical articles could be written on the operation of churches and parachurch ministries, but some underlying principles can guide us beyond the rules.

Be Accountable

What does this mean? Simply let others see what you are doing. We tend to stretch the boundaries a little if no one will see.

The Bible is clear: what is done in secret will someday be looked at openly. We tend to think of a public display of our actions in fight of eternity, but it may happen in our lifetime. Justifying our actions, regardless of how far off base they may be, is human nature. Hence each of us needs someone to evaluate his thoughts and actions and then speak the truth in love.

During my years at Capital Christian Center in Sacramento, California, a friend and I agreed to bring to each other’s attention any situation that could potentially lead to our downfall. I learned that once a situation is brought to light, the darkness in it seems to disappear. While this is a simple principle, its effects are profound.

To whom do you choose to be accountable? Every situation differs, but there are some rules to follow.

For your personal life and marriage there should be someone or a couple with whom you can have a no-holds-barred conversation–someone you can trust with your life.

For your ministry you should have godly counselors who will fairly, prayerfully, and uncompromisingly deal with situations that arise. The church board members often serve well here, for they carry a trusted responsibility. They should be free to vote according to their consciences, even when it may be contrary to your desires.

In a recent sermon, Southern California College President Wayne Kraiss gave 10 danger signals which point to an erosion of integrity:

1. The Scriptures are becoming more a source for sermon and teaching material than self-examination.

2. My view of my own importance and/or accomplishments is not tempered by appreciation for the achievements of others; hence I become an ever-enlarging part of my shrinking world.

3. I spend considerable time trying to put the best face on my activity.

4. My life and preaching are becoming more issue-oriented than Christ-centered. These issues may represent areas in which I am personally struggling.

5. I have no support group or covenant group of peers with whom I can be vulnerable and who love me enough to hold me accountable for personal failures–who will objectively criticize my motives.

6. I am becoming distant from my spouse, peers, board, and family.

7. I am experiencing a growing sense of frustration over some areas in my personal life (financial, marital, spiritual, sexual). I am vulnerable to inappropriate opportunities which promise satisfaction.

8. I am not as quick or as concerned about correcting an exaggerated positive impression of myself as I am a negative one.

9. Most of my goals are materialistic, financial, or focused on enhancing my reputation in contrast to goals for spiritual and personal growth.

10. The environment I have created around myself intimidates others and provides an illusion of power. Thus I do not benefit from the objective feedback which others could provide.

Be Informed

There is no excuse for being ignorant of how to run a sound operation. A host of newsletters, seminars, and organizations stand ready to educate simply for the asking.