Not many of us get pumped up about processes, policies, and procedures. Yet, most of us do care deeply about outcomes and results. The truth is that the two are usually connected—even in the life of a church!
Listen to the wisdom of the writer of the biblical book of Ecclesiastes:
“The wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.
For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter.”
(Ecclesiastes 8:5b-6a, NIV)
Eugene Peterson captures the spirit of this passage in The Message when he translates:
Yes, there’s a right time and way for everything,
(Ecclesiastes 8:6a, Message)
In the New Testament, the same principle is articulated by the Apostle Paul when he writes to the church at Corinth as follows:
God is not a God of disorder but of peace. . . .
everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
(1 Corinthians 14:33, 40, NIV)
At Ingleside, we recognize that good processes, policies, and procedures will not guarantee God’s favor and the health of the church. However, their absence will certainly waste energy, make conflict more likely, and diminish spiritual vitality and growth. So, we do our best to order our life together in a way that honors the biblical principle of: “the right time and the right way for everything.”
One example is our upcoming Semi-Annual Church Conference on Wednesday night, August 26, following Midweek (7:45 p.m.). In that meeting, every member of our church family (age 16 and older) is invited to participate in the vote on the adoption of our 2016 Ministry Budget and on the nominations for Overseer and Deacon. The votes in our Church Conference represent the concluding steps in open, orderly processes regarding both the budget and new leaders.
Consider the budget process. A draft was developed by staff for review and feedback from our Overseers. Congregational input and discussion was sought and welcomed at a “town meeting” on June 28. Overseers approved the budget on July 21. Now the final step is a congregational vote.
What about the leadership selection process? Recommendations were solicited congregation-wide in late April and early May. A nominating committee of fourteen carefully and prayerfully reviewed the recommendations and selected nominees. The Overseer Chairman and Senior Pastor interviewed nominees and spouses. Now the final step is a congregational vote.
Of course, processes, policies, and procedures should always be reviewed and improved as the size and complexity of our ministries grow. What’s appropriate for a church of 100 is usually not best for a church of 2,000. But, the bottom line is: I’m thankful for a church family that recognizes and values the biblical principle of: “the right time and the right way for everything.” It’s for our good and God’s glory!