Whenever people commit to a common cause, structures and procedures must be agreed upon. Being a pastor and close follower of many things ecclesiastical, I’m quite familiar with this reality as it exists within a particular denomination, the Christian Reformed Church (CRC).
The CRC has a “Church Order” that defines its understanding of ordained ministries, Church assemblies, necessary congregational ministries, dispute resolution procedures, and so on. You’d think that the policies would be written, agreed upon, and put into effect. They are, but then comes the next step: amendment. Seldom does a CRC annual Synod meet without some change to the Church Order being proposed and debated.
This morning I spent some time drafting a proposal for yet another amendment to the denomination’s Church Order. I didn’t do this for the sheer joy of it alone, but because the leaders of Classis (the regional assembly) gave me the task. Thankfully, I do find it an interesting and ultimately worthwhile way to spend a couple hours.
It strikes me that the Church Order is a lot like all of us: a work in progress. Not bad, but not perfect either.
As a man, husband, father, friend and pastor, I’m in need of refinement and reformation. The congregation I serve, Bethel Church in Waterdown ON, is made up of forgiven sinners who are on a journey of sanctification (being made obedient to Christ in all areas of life) but have not yet arrived at the goal.