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This week’s Ministry Briefing offers a series of stories that will challenge church leaders to plan ahead so that they can navigate potentially divisive or costly divisions. Knowing your church’s and denomination’s by-laws and hosting frank conversations with your staff will help you prepare for some of the many challenges that are likely to come up.
This week controversial pastor Mark Driscoll announced that he will launch a new church in Phoenix, AZ. While Driscoll’s fans applaud this move and his critics ask whether he has fully reconciled with the leaders of his former church who shared reports of widespread bullying in a toxic church culture.
We can all agree that we want Driscoll to have a healthy, productive ministry, so the question is whether he has healed and reconciled to the point that he can accomplish that. What structures and relationships does your church have in place in order to ensure that leaders can serve from a healthy, encouraging place?
Aside from individual concerns of division, several denominations and congregations are facing division over theological concerns. Some have chosen to split as amicably as possible, while others are seeking a potential third way to keep diverse perspectives united around a common cause.
Where are your denomination’s or congregation’s boundaries for biblical faithfulness? What will you do if your denomination’s or congregation’s leadership deviates from these boundaries?
Getting on the same page as your leadership team, reviewing your by-laws, and reviewing potential options for moving forward are all ways that church leaders can proactively prepare for the challenges that are certain to come.
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