Weird question. How can the presbytery or synod be better? Or does it matter? I ask this question because I work in my local Presbyterian church but also, I serve on committees on the Presbytery and Synod. And I love doing all these things. I like to serve the local church as well as the greater church. But I wonder if there is any real impact on local churches in the things that are going on in the Presbytery and Synod.
To be honest I sometimes feel like I am serving three different churches and that all of them can feel so separated from each other, which is unfortunate. Now, I have to think to myself, as a pastor of my local church, how much information do I share in my work that is being done in the Presbytery or Synod.
To me the most important thing is that we all feel connected, and we all feel included. Now, whether local churches realize it or not, what happens in the Presbytery or Synod does affect in what happens in the local church. Some meetings I have with either the Synod or Presbytery can have large impacts on how I do my ministry in my local church, or some are quite small.
But to be honest, I am not the kind of person that will stand out can vocally call out everything that I do in the regional church. But I hope that my actions show through the work of the Synod and Presbytery. Most importantly, when the time is needed for my church to get resources or help, I hope that I can direct them to the programs or personnel that can help them through any situation.
I have full confidence in my local church and the wider church. There are times in which I may not fully agree with what may be happening on the national levels, and I will put priority to the needs going on in my local church. And that is ok, because I do believe that the local church must have autonomy in these situations.
We must understand that all local churches are unique, and that is a good thing! It’s also important for local churches that they do not have to be like any other church “out there.”
The new executive Rev. Forrest Claassen said something that made me think about my local church and what is the possibility to reconfigure my ministry plan for that church. He made a statement about following “patterns.” Basically, needing to ask myself, “What patterns do I see in my church?” (Now I will elaborate more on this probably in a video post that I have been working on for some time.) Do I recognize what God is showing me in my church? Well, not just in my church but in other churches as well.
These “patterns” are found in each individual church and sometimes we find ourselves fighting against these “patterns” because of stubbornness or denial. Don’t forget every church has its “patterns” and it is possible that no church has the same “patterns” as another church. What I am trying to say is that a church cannot believe that because church B is doing this can getting success, church A can do the same and have the same results. Even more so, what we see patterns in the greater church (national, presbytery, or synod) does not mean that those patterns are in the local church. Like I said before there is a fundamental nature of autonomy out there.
I am never the type of person that pushes agendas unless I feel it is necessary, that is if the agenda is vital to a church. Hmm… now I feel like I am trying to separate the local church from the greater church! Oh no! That’s not it! Because what I see is the beauty of the greater church is that it is all unique autonomous local churches coming together to always respect one another and help one another regardless of agendas. I believe that the greater church is there to help local churches find what their “patterns” are! But the question I bring again, especially if you are a Presbyterian, is how can your presbytery and your synod be better? Do you feel that they are assisting you in helping your church find it's identity and help you see the “patterns” in your church, so that you can strengthen your autonomy as that local church and find success and growth?
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).