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Structure of Authority, Nature of Decision-Making in Community.

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Presentation on theme: "Structure of Authority, Nature of Decision-Making in Community."— Presentation transcript:

1 Structure of Authority, Nature of Decision-Making in Community

2 Nature of Authority Matthew 20:25-28

3 Structure of Authority Ecclesial:  Global: Pope  District: Diocesan Bishop o Delegate in District: District Spiritual Director Covenantal:  Global: Community Spiritual Director through Community Council of Servant Leaders  District: Diocesan Bishop through District Council of Stewards

4 District Structure Sharing of Responsibilities District Council of Stewards  Discernment o Direction, Goals, Strategy, Policies & Guidelines, Appointments to Pastoral & Apostolic offices  Pastoral care, mentoring, witnessing, teaching o DLC o Members District Leadership Conference  Individual: o Ministry operations o Pastoral care of ministry members  Collective; inter-ministry collaboration, community operations o Consultations by District Council of Stewards Board of Trustees  Foundation operations o Compliance with federal and state laws o Fund-raising o Financial oversight

5 The Challenge of Forging One Heart, One Mind Decisions Easy? History & Experience Say NO!

6 The Challenge of Forging One Heart, One Mind Decisions Difficult? History & Experience Say YES!

7 The Challenge of Forging One Heart, One Mind Decisions Difficult but Not Impossible… WITH CHRIST! Jn 17:22-23: “And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me.”

8 Definitions: One Heart, One Mind Decisions Refers to the process and outcome of a group decision-making or discernment  Unanimity: quality or state of being one mind (Merriam- Webster’s)  Christian definition: decisions made in unanimity- both of mind and heart- founded on communion with Christ. In the context of community, it includes the response of obedience from those affected by such decisions o "I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” Jn 17:21 Goal: Seek & heed God’s will & directions for community

9 Scripture Foundation Acts 4:32 – “The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.”  Spirit of commonality and sharing, not ownership o Disregard for the prerogatives of ownership  Gifts are used in accord with Giver’s purposes  Focus on strengthening of communion through prayer, teaching, breaking of the bread, and on doing Jesus’ work

10 Other Scripture References oPHIL 1:27 “Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear news of you, that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind struggling together for the faith of the gospel.” 1 Pt 3:8 “Finally, all of you, be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble.”

11 Scripture References on Unanimity That Is Not Of God Ps 83:6 “They scheme with one mind, in league against you.” Rev 17:12-14 “The ten horns that you saw represent ten kings who have not yet been crowned; they will receive royal authority along with the beast for one hour. They are of one mind and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will fight with the Lamb but the Lamb will conquer them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.“  Groupthink- group decisions characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent and conformity to group values and ethics

12 Essentials of One Heart, One Mind Decisions Each decision-maker is a practicing discerner All decision-makers have common understanding of the assumptions re: issue for the decision Process is based on prayerful listening to the Word of God (individual and group), and to attentive listening to each other Consensual agreement is based on group’s understanding of the Lord’s will “Brewing” time is set for consultations & watchful listening for signs to confirm/refine decision

13 Interior Disposition of Discerners of God’s Will Prayerful Humble, cognizant of spiritual poverty Reliant on Christ Open to the operation of the Holy Spirit Submissive to God’s Will  Detachment from our own proposals and preferences Abiding in Christ

14 Interior Disposition Towards Fellow Discerners of God’s Will See Christ in our brethren Listen attentively Deal in truth and love  Transparency Encourage participation Set Christ’s model/teaching as norm Build “Ecclesiola” or Little Church

15 Newark’s Decision-Making Process: LWG as Basis DCS determines Order & Directions in forthcoming month’s LWG with Worship Leaders  Results are integrated with CSL’s monthly Word Themes & Promises DCS uses forthcoming Sunday’s WORD as key principles for decision-making during weekly business meeting  Word: Used to define the purpose or desired outcome of a decision or action  Order: Applied to the question for decision to discern God’s will for the community  Reality: Describes the community situation to be addressed by the DCS decision. Includes the root cause of problem  Direction: The decision that emerges after the Order is applied to the situation being addressed. Includes analysis of various alternatives, consultation re: Church Teachings. C of C

16 Newark’s Decision-Making Process: LWG as Basis (2) A decision is reached when stewards consensually agree In case of concerns, reservations and objections:  Questions are asked to understand basis  DCS goes back to prayer before resuming discussion  New information to help clarify issues are obtained  Another attempt to reach consensus is made If lack of consensus is not based on moral or pastoral issues, the DCS will seek substantive unanimity  Substantive unanimity: the one with reservation/concern blesses the decision and allows it to move forward Final recourse is to escalate the subject to the CSL or District Spiritual Director for decision

17 Newark’s Decision-Making Process: LWG as Basis (3) On significant decisions, the DCS consults with the DLC and/or the Disciples Assembly  Plenary discussion and/or LWG with key questions to be answered based on discernment of the Word; or  Survey questionnaire containing key questions for membership input The DCS uses these additional input to finalize decision

18 Consultation/Communication With Membership Authority has the obligation to promptly and clearly communicate the discerned will of the Lord to the membership to promote “one heart, one mind” in community Three possible responses to decisions by authority:  Obedience: the response of love (children to the Father)  Compliance: the response of fear  Resistance: the response of disaffection

19 Newark’s Efforts to Achieve One Heart, One Mind Shift to a culture of participative membership. Principles:  Empowerment  Unique gifts but same purpose  Everyone counts, regardless of function  Each is called and gifted  Each is responsible and accountable  We are complementary parts of one whole  We are strong in our interdependence and collaboration  We are a team, without losing individuality and dignity  We are one with the Church

20 Newark’s Efforts to Achieve One Heart, One Mind (2) Said principles are operative when members are willing to:  Confront, correct, forgive, reconcile  Trust, communicate and work with others  Make mistakes & learn from them  Be patient, understanding, encouraging, affirming, enabling to others  Choose “stewardship” over “ownership”  Foster substantive participation among everyone  Serve others’ (or the overall) interest rather than own


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