It’s not often that I can say that I am doing something I never could have imagined myself doing. This past week I began working with a sister church of our presbytery as part of an Administrative Commission. An Administrative Commission (AC) is one of the tools the Presbytery has to help congregations that are in extreme need of help. In fact, an AC actually has the power to “Assume Original Jurisdiction” of a church. That means they can relieve the Session of their duties. This is why I would have never imagined that I would be part of an AC. Overall, I have sought to be part of the encouraging and equipping arm of the church not the governance side. An AC is a governance body. Often the governance side of the presbytery is seen in a negative light. This is due to the fact that more times than not, it is interacted with during conflict or transitions. Yet, this AC is different. We were invited by the Session to work with them.
The Session of this church asked that the Presbytery appoint an AC to help them get unstuck. We are calling this AC a “soft” Administrative Commission. The Presbytery’s hope, along with the Session, is that by working with them in this capacity we can help them gain a clearer vision for their life together. Personally, this is why I said yes. Through the support of our congregation my training as a Coach is a special gift to be used in times like this. This AC hopes to partner with the church to empower their session and members to find their vitality and direction. As a coach this is an exciting opportunity to make a difference in the life of a congregation.
I wanted to share this with you for two reasons. One of my commitments coming back from Sabbatical was that I was going to commit to a fuller participation in the Presbytery. In the words of one of my favorite TV personalities, “I don’t embrace excuses, I embrace solutions.” During Sabbatical I found a deeper appreciation for the connectional nature of the church and want to be part of the solutions. Secondly, in the past I haven’t always shared in meaningful ways the work that I personally or the Presbytery corporately does. Our denomination is filled with talented and gifted people and we shouldn’t take that for granted.
Finally, I would ask that you hold myself, the Administrative Commission, Session and Congregation of our sister church in prayer. This is perhaps the greatest gift of a connectional church. Much like our corporate prayers as a congregation, we have the power to lift up our brothers and sisters through out the Church.