One Church, One School, One Direction

My ministry has only known churches with a Christian Day School. My ministry has also only known churches and schools operating when I arrived either with opposite ministry goals or with adversarial relationships between church and school. It was heart-breaking to walk into churches and see a situation where the pastor not only did not pour his heart into the staff and students but would undermine their work. Or I would see teaching staffs reject attending the church and some would even refuse to speak to members when they crossed paths. In those situations, there are few things needed to change this toxic culture.

Rebuild Trust

If you are in a situation where the church and school co-exist in the same space but are miles apart, you need to rebuild trust. Past hurts and sinfully behavior have built a wall of protection around the individuals, boards and the staff. Until you can address this hurt and start fresh moving forward together will be virtually impossible. The history of past hurts will always creep up in meetings, in decisions, and inaction. The starting point is having those critical conversations.

Here a sample of what process looks like.

  1. Lead with the truth. It is always easier to be empathetic and genuine when you speak plainly and truthfully. …
  2. Be authentic. Don’t try to be anyone but yourself. …
  3. Collect your thoughts. …
  4. Pace yourself. …
  5. Get perspective. …
  6. Avoid full stop words. …
  7. Be brief. …
  8. Focus on the issue, not the person.

You can find more details on this in the link below.

Putting this in a Christian context, as a church and school practice Matthew 18.
15 “If your brother or sister sins against you, go and correct them when you are alone together. If they listen to you, then you’ve won over your brother or sister. 16 But if they won’t listen, take with you one or two others so that every word may be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses. 17But if they still won’t pay attention, report it to the church. If they won’t pay attention even to the church, treat them as you would a Gentile and tax collector. 18 I assure you that whatever you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. And whatever you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven. 19 Again I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then my Father who is in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.”

The key to any conflict is the end of this verse when you gather to solve any conflict Jesus is there amid your conversation. Focus on Him.

Refocusing Ministry

Once you have dealt with any elephants in the room, now comes the hard part. You might think the first one was the hard part. In my experience, the hard part is moving ministry from what is comfortable to what is courageous. Where is God leading us? What is His vision for his ministry? With vision the most important thing to keep in mind is vision is always bigger than us, then our abilities. Vision is always God-sized! It moves us to rely on Him to accomplish because God gets the glory. Vision also is based a discontentment with doing ministry as usual. It forces us to look around and say we must do better, we must trust God more, we must use our gifts more effectively. Moving a comfortable church and school to that level is difficult. I will leave you with this quote and these questions to share with your leadership team.

“What is a vision? Where do they come from? Visions are born in the soul of a man or woman who is consumed with the tension between what is and what could be. Anyone who is emotionally involved-frustrated, brokenhearted, maybe even angry about the way things are in light of the way they believe things could be, is a candidate for a vision. Visions form in the hearts of those who are dissatisfied with the status quo…Vision carries with it a sense of conviction. Anyone with a vision will tell you this is not merely something that could be done. This is something that should be done. (From Visioneering, Andy Stanley)

Questions to process:

  1. What is our ministry heading?
  2. On what do our current members and school families base their identity?
  3. What can we do better than 10,000 other churches/Christian Schools?
  4. What are we supposed to be doing?
  5. Where is God making us into?

If you decide you need to form a vision team.

  1. If we need a vision or planning group who will make-up the team?
  2. Who will assess, determine, articulate the vision?
  3. Will there be a formal process to affirm or approve the vision?
  4. Who will facilitate the process?
  5. What are our process model and related vision process?

[1]https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-managing/leading-with-the-truth-how-to-handle-crucial-conversations/article22638542/

3 Comments on “One Church, One School, One Direction

  1. Thanks so much for this visionary article, which I can put to use in many areas–not only the church-school scene, but in our mission work as well!

    Like

  2. Pingback: How to Transform ​Your School into A Missional Community? – The light breaks through

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