WHATCHU TALKIN BOUT WILLIS?

I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...



Sunday, May 10, 2009

Leadership dreams...

Maybe I was just dreaming. Actually, I'm pretty sure I was. Way back in 1994 I was part of a new church plant called Christ's Church of the Peninsula. I went into this effort with lots of exuberance and a conviction that we could "get it right" in the church. And we did in amny ways (& we got some things wrong too!). When we finally decided to set apart our first elders we did so after spending several months studying & discussing the responsinilities & work of elders in the church. I envisioned a team of mature men working together in devotion to Christ, a group of shepherds caring for His sheep. I should mentioned that I worked a secular job for the entire existence of Christ's Church. During this time I preached virtually every Sunday, taught a small group weekly and carried out many other normal ministry responsibilties. It wore on me over the years eyt I was still reluctant to let it go and return to "full time" ministry. I loved it for many reasons: 1. It kept me connected to the lost in a way many "full time" guys end up forfeiting. 2. It gave me some additional credibilty with some folks because I had a "real " job. 3. I felt that my example said that you could do life in our day and still dedicate significant time to kingdom work.

My dream in those was that somehow we would develop a team of church leaders who would break out of the typical "board system" so prevalent these days. (Note: Just because you don't call it a "board" doesn't mean it isn't one). Anyway, it appears obvious that history in our churches repeats itself more than I'd like to admit.

Have any of you ever witnessed or been a part of a church where the leaders function in unity and harmony and do so sacrificially? Where board-elders don't exist, but shepherd-eldrs are the norm?

6 comments:

aaronsaufley said...

They've only been in existence for around two months, but so far, the elders I developed and equipped before leaving for NC are like that. We'll see how it develops. I'll be checking in on them from time to time.

David H. Willis said...

I'll pray for them.

servinghimwithshakyhands said...

Hey Willis - some really good thoughts & discussion - that guy Francis Chan I told you about in another post - man you have got to hear some of his discussions on how their group of elders and "staff" work together. These guys I firmly believe are "getting it right" - they are pretty extreme (but that is from our limited perspective and ironically enough that term is exactly what described much of what was going on in the early church - extreme)

Chan wrote a book called "Crazy Love" and he talks some in there about some of what they have going on. I really think you will find a great appreciation for what they are doing.

Not to keep harping on that guy or that church, but it seems to very much line up with much of what you are discussion, hope that helps.

Keep up the good stuff man!

David H. Willis said...

I listened to Chan last week. I'll try to run down his stuff on edlers on their website. Thanks.

Levi said...

Dave it is shifting here with good study and tough talks to be more biblical at Old Ford. we aren't there yet but we have moved miles in getting things back to the way they are suppose to be. It took the right guys to devote themselves to taking a few "Black eyes" and tough talks with many on the board to get it moving in the right direction. You still may here some in the congregation call it the board but it is becoming a church lead and shepherd by the elders. I am thankful for God opening the eyes of our elders to study and work on getting our leadership in line with what God intended and he established in His word.

David H. Willis said...

Good stuff Levi.