In pondering the Synodical level structure conversation I’ve been doing some thinking about Classis. This isn’t just blogging stuff for me, in Classis Central California we’ve been struggling to figure out how to do Classis nearly constantly ever since I’ve been here.
After doing some writing someone pointed me to the book The Fly in the Ointment by Crabtree. I haven’t read a lot of books on “middle level judiciaries” or “regional associations”, I don’t know how many of them there are out there (drop suggestions in the comments if you’ve got one).
I’ve gotten about half way through Crabtree’s book. I’ll try to at least skim through the end. I read A LOT of church growth stuff in the late 90s. My view on the genre matches some of the comments Tim Keller made in his Center Church book.
- There is value in gleaning technique principles and suggestions
- There really are no formulas for “success”
- You do need to address theological content questions and approaches too (“theological vision” as Keller puts it)
Regional Associations Are Key Right Now
What I most appreciate about Crabtree’s book is his thesis that “regional associations” are probably the most important level that we need to address right now for church revitalization in North America. It’s for that reason that I’ll try my hand at this series to outline some ideas I have and try to develop some more as I write.
- The blog format isn’t necessarily ideal for this, but it’s what I’ve got time for at the moment. I’ll distribute this over a series of posts. This page will have the central directory.
- I welcome comments. The CRC Pastors Facebook Page has become probably volume wise the most important social media resource for engaging the largest number of CRC pastors. If you drop a substantive comment there it would be nice to also cut and paste it in the comment section on the blog so that those who access it from CRC-Voices and Twitter can read it as well.
- I’ll probably add some stuff from our Classis Central California conversation as well. We’re doing more revisioning now. If you have stuff from your classis to add put it in the comments or if you have more material we can put it up on Google Docs or consider writing a guest blog post.