I've been pondering lately what it means to be "connectional." I currently serve on my conference's Order of Elders Advisory committee, and we have talked about "lone rangers" and the affect they have on the greater connection of our Annual Conference, both within the orders and within the whole body, as some churches are also seen to be "lone rangers".
When I say "connectional", I believe that it means that the health of my church cannot be sustained only by sacrificing the health of other churches.
When I say "connectional", I believe it means that when I am only concerned about my own self or needs in the system and how I can get ahead, I should be questioned.
When I saw "connectional", I believe it means that I play a vital role in something larger...and I must recognize that the others around me also play vital roles.
When I say "connectional", I believe it means that I should be urging all churches to faithful discipleship--not just one-upmanship.
When I say "connectional", I believe it means that there will be times when I carry someone else's burden...and times when I can feel free to ask for help carrying my own.
When I say "connectional", I believe it means that God is in the midst of the connection at all levels, and I ignore that at my peril.
When I say "connectional", I believe it means that the connection doesn't need me to imitate and create a McChurch...it needs me to discern and act in my local setting in conjunction with the movements of the connection.
When I say "connectional", I believe it means that I have a right and duty to speak and to be listened to, heard and considered by the connection...and to listen and consider in return.
Just some thoughts. I wish that this was more natural to us, but this Body of Christ finds it far more easy and personally rewarding to think congregationally instead of connectionally and individually instead of within the understanding of the Orders. I wonder if we'll ever intuitively move in a different direction.
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