Pastor's Blog

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Did you miss it? I'm speaking about what happened at our Town Hall meeting on October 28th. God is working, and there are several reasons I say that.

 

The Town Hall meeting was an opportunity to openly discuss an important part of our Proposed By-laws. I wasn't sure what to expect because there were several "controversial" topics to talk about. Because of that, the Church Council had decided to talk in smaller groups around the dinner tables and then have someone from each table share with others what was discussed.

 

One topic of discussion was the leadership role of women at BMBC. This is something that has been talked about and talked over within the Mennonite Brethren fellowship of churches since at least the 1980's. No formal decision or policy has been developed over the last 30 plus years, only a couple of resolutions that are non-binding on local MB churches. Since our new proposed By-laws state that the Lead Pastor and Team of Elder members can only be qualified men, the prospects for arguments and conflict seemed to be high.

 

So, what happened at our Town Hall? Everyone responded with good, healthy discussion and there were no expressions of anger or even raised voices over different interpretations of Scripture. The spirit of loving fellowship and of building up the church prevailed through the power and leading of the Holy Spirit. The positive reports and contributions will be of great guidance and help to our Church Council in producing a final working draft of our new By-laws. That was the desired goal of our meeting. A decision by the church membership is yet to come, but I am looking forward to some more great discussions and decisions.

 

Also, in our discussion was a proposal for the role of a Team of Elders as our new governing board and the role and make-up of a new Team of Deacons who will serve our church. There were a number of concerns and opinions presented over these two structures, but again God showed up. I believe the discussion served only to build up BMBC. This is the way discussions about important issues in our church should happen with a Christ-centered approach. Thank you, Lord. I am encouraged to know Jesus is Lord over our church and all we do.

 

Please continue to pray for discernment and guidance by the Holy Spirit as we move forward, and keep in mind the following proposed dates for continuing our discussions:

 

November 4th at 5:00pm – our fall Congregational Business Meeting where we will vote on moving forward in the direction of the proposed By-laws section on Elders and Deacons (not a final vote for approval).

 

December 9th at 5:00pm – a special Congregational Business Meeting to vote on approving the new Proposed Constitution and By-laws (amendments will be accepted after motion, seconds, discussion and vote). Members should take several opportunities to continue to discuss the proposed documents  before this important meeting.

post a comment

Thursday, October 18, 2018

On Saturday, November 3rd, we are having a BMBC Leadership Retreat and all ministry leaders are invited.

 

Here are the facts:

 

What? The Leadership Retreat is an opportunity to have the ministry leaders at our church gather to hear about and talk about the continued transformation of BMBC and our various ministries.

 

Who? All ministry leaders and leadership team members are invited. This includes the leaders of our church ministries such as Christian Education, Worship, Wednesday Night Light, Youth, Pastor Search, Renewal Team, Council, Deacons, Life Groups, Kitchen, Sunday School classes, Spiritual Gifts Committee, Missions/Evangelism, Trustees, Children's Church, Communication Team, Decorating Committee, Library Committee, Social Committee, Women's Ministries, Ushers, Greeters, Nursery, etc. Pastor Charlie will be leading the retreat but will be assisted by members of our Renewal Team. If you are a team leader of a ministry and can't come, please get one or two other leaders from your team to come and report back to you.

 

When? The Retreat takes place on Saturday, November 3rd, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in the meeting room of the Dillon Nature Center. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Those who attend will gain maximum benefit for themselves and their ministries if they come for the whole time.

 

Why? During the last 10 months, the Renewal Team has been seeking to help our church become healthier with a clear mission, vision and core values. These leaders have also been working on developing a "Simple Church" model and currently a disciple-making pathway to help all our ministries and members know how to be part of a church that is serious about spiritual growth by loving God, loving others and making disciples of Jesus. Now is the time to share how all this impact and help all ministries in the church. This retreat will be a call to participate in church and community transformation and will include training and coaching for ministry leaders.

post a comment

Friday, October 12, 2018

Your Church Council has completed work on an important part of the new BMBC By-laws so I thought I would share it with you. It's the section describing the Team of Elders and Team of Deacons. If approved, it will replace the current Church Council and Deacon Board. In summary, the document states that it is the responsibility of the Team of Elders, made up of spiritually qualified men only, to be devoted to the spiritual oversight and leadership of the church and her overall governance. Assisting the Elders will be a Team of Deacons made up of biblically qualified men and women. Deacons will exercise servant leadership in physical, spiritual and benevolent ministries so that no one in the church is neglected. They will also care for and visit the sick, elderly and special needs people in our church. Here is a glimpse of what this looks like from the newly approved job descriptions.

 

Team of Elders Ministry Responsibilities

 
  • Prays regularly and seeks God's will for the church
  • Be devoted to the ministries of prayer, teaching God's Word, shepherding, seeking the lost and overseeing the congregation
  • Functions as the governing body of the church using a congregational system (the collective church membership has the final authority under Christ and his Word)
  • Provides pastoral oversight and leadership alongside the Pastors for the congregation
  • Works closely with the Lead Pastor and holds him accountable in his ministry
  • Responsible for completing an annual review of the Lead Pastor
  • Provides relevant communication with the church membership
  • Responsible for an annual evaluation of the health and growth of the church
  • Seeks to keep the church on Mission and Vision, guided by the Core Values
  • Appoints people to fill vacancies in the leadership of ministry teams and committees
  • Approves new ministries and ministry leadership team leaders
  • Calls and conducts congregational business meetings
  • Develops or approves policies that affect the life and ministry of the church
  • Directly oversees the ministry of the Team of Deacons
  • Maintains a membership roll and keeps it current on an annual basis
  • Follows the approved BMBC policies in carrying out ministry responsibilities

 

Team of Deacons Ministry Responsibilities

 

  • Prays regularly and seek God's will for the church
  • Frees up the Pastors and the Team of Elders so that the Elders can devote themselves to the ministries of prayer, teaching God's Word and shepherding God's people
  • Oversees the collection and distribution of a Church Benevolent Fund
  • Appoints a leadership team to oversee the Community Food Pantry at BMBC
  • Keeps eyes and ears open to those who have spiritual or physical needs that aren't being met
  • Communicates frequently with the Team of Elders and Pastors in a variety of ways
  • Helps oversee the services of Communion and Baptism
  • Meets at least once a month, and also meets at least quarterly with the Team of Elders
  • Divides the church attendees into groups of up to 15 family units so that they can receive shepherding care through visiting people who are ill, elderly or have special needs, and those who are not under the care of a small group or Sunday School class
  • Fulfills any service ministry assignments as directed by the Team of Elders or Pastors

 

Discussion of the proposed section of the By-laws is encouraged. It will also be discussed at the church Town Hall meeting on October 28th. At our Fall Business Meeting on November 4th, the Council is looking for an affirmation of direction with a vote on the entire proposed By-laws in December.

post a comment

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Just this last week we completed work on a new and much improved church website for BMBC. Here's a screenshot of the top part of the home page with navigation tabs at the top and bottom of the Home Page you'll see when you click on www.buhlermbchurch.org.

 

 

 

Just click on any of the tabs you that interest you and you will find lots of information about the life and ministries of Buhler MB.

 

For example, the "Guest Connection" tab at the top of the home page will give you practical information about our church. This page is especially designed for people who are checking us out to see if they want to visit us or checking us out to see if they want to apply for our Lead Pastor opening. It contains a list of FAQ's or Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Click on the "About Us: tab at the top and you will see a drop-down menu of pages devoted to such BMBC topics as our church, our distinctives (Mission, Values, Vision, MB affiliation and our Doctrine), our Pastors and staff, missionaries we support, our community of Buhler and how to give on-line.

 

At the top and bottom of the home page are tabs full of resources and links to other resources that can help you know Jesus and grow in your faith. This will be a growing list as more resources are added.

 

Check out our church website and let us know what you think and how we might improve it.

 

#BMBC #website #communication

post a comment

Thursday, September 20, 2018

These are exciting days at Buhler MB!....

These are exciting days at Buhler MB! I want to share with you something from our church Pastor Search Committee and it's "hot off the press." It is the advertisement we will be sharing with a number of people and places to help our church discover and call God's choice for us as a Lead Pastor and his family. This ad will go out on our web site this week and in the coming days will be shared with selected people such as our MB District Minister and his colleagues across North America. It will also be posted on ministry job boards at selected evangelical seminaries and colleges, and will also be published in the MB's Christian Leader magazine. The Pastor Search Committee also wants you to share the information with anyone you may know who may be qualified as a potential candidate for our new Pastor. Our deadline for applications is set for November 10th. You are encouraged to pray fervently for the Lord to send us his choice for us and our servant-leadership needs as a church. Here's the advertisement.

 

 Opening for a Lead Pastor

 

In January of 2018, Buhler (KS) Mennonite Brethren Church, a small-town evangelical, anabaptist church averaging 175 in attendance, called an Intentional Interim Pastor because we have struggled with vision, leadership and a loss of members over the last 15 years. We wanted to find renewal and begin to rediscover unity around an exciting vision for our community and beyond. Our desire is to continue to turn around and move forward with godly, servant leadership, and accomplish a new mission of "glorifying Christ by loving God, loving others, and making disciples through the power of the Holy Spirit." Our newly discovered vision is nothing less than to "intentionally transform communities through Christ," and we are seeking a new Lead Pastor to help us do just that. We need pastoral leadership and care help in capturing this vision and moving forward out of our comfort zones and into our communities with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The kind of man of God and his family for which we are searching will have a depth of love for our Lord and a passion for Jesus, our church family, and our community. He will also be energetic, an effective communicator of God's Word, and have high emotional intelligence, connecting on a personal level with young and old while showing them love and helping them to know Jesus and grow in Him as disciples. Check out Buhler MB at www.buhlermbchurch.org. If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to buhlermbpst@gmail.com. The deadline for application is November 10th, 2018.

post a comment

Thursday, September 13, 2018

In an effort to improve church communication, I want to share with the Buhler MB Church family some news and updates of interest to you....

In an effort to improve church communication, I want to share with the Buhler MB Church family some news and updates of interest to you.

 

As most of you know, we now have a Pastor Search Committee in full operation. This team meets on most Sundays and has begun to lay the foundation for a thorough search process that our church will follow over the next few months. It is currently working on an advertisement we will post in several places. This ad will mention what our church is all about, a brief description of the kind of Lead Pastor that will fit us and our community well and a description of when and how to apply for the position. The ad will run from October 1st until November 10th after which applications will no longer be accepted. It will also be in a bulletin soon and also on our new website. After that, considerable time will be devoted to going through the applicants' information to begin narrowing down the list of men to a smaller and smaller group until God leads to the best candidate for our church. Please pray for the Pastor Search Team.

 

In line with beginning our Pastor Search, we have started a new BMBC Prayer Initiative called, "100 Days of Prayer for Discernment." This new effort is much longer but fits well with the work of our Pastor Search team. Please use the Prayer Initiative Bulletin inserts to guide you in praying for our church over the next three months.

 

I am very happy to announce that our new church website is up and running. Much work has gone into this more effective ministry tool of communication and I know you will appreciate it. It is designed to be much more user-friendly and especially appeal to those who are taking a first look at us, including applicants for our new Lead Pastor. The new website is at the same address as our old one – check it out at www.buhlermbchurch.org/.

 

The Constitution Revision Team or CRT has just about completed its work and within two – four weeks we should be able to distribute the proposed document to everyone and begin congregation-wide discussion before a vote to approve is held. It supports our new proposed Constitution, is much shorter than our existing Constitution and By-laws and is designed to be used with two other sets of guiding documents: policy statements and Job Descriptions. The membership approves the Constitution and By-laws and the Church Council approved Policies and Job Descriptions.

 

On October 7th, our church will take part in a Buhler community-wide joint worship service with our other Buhler churches. This will be the conclusion of the Buhler Frolic weekend and it will include a celebration of "World Communion Sunday" and include a giant pot-luck lunch following a worship service. Sunday's activities are planned for the Park, but if weather become a problem we will gather indoors at the High School.

 

And, just to let you know, our Wednesday Night Light ministry and Community Meal begins next Wednesday, September 19th, at 5:30pm, with an outdoor cookout. All children and youth under the age of 18 can eat for free this year so invite your friends and neighbors.

 

#bmbc #By-laws #BuhlerFrolic #WednesdayNightLite #PastorSearch #www.buhlermbchurch.org

 

post a comment

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Last Sunday, our church chose 7 qualified people to serve on our new Pastor Search Committee......

Last Sunday, our church chose 7 qualified people to serve on our new Pastor Search Committee. The members include Allison Pauls, Bryan Moler, Lee Pankratz, Judy Banz, Paula Eigsti, Randy Roberts and Brent Wichert. Please pray for them and their work.

 

To give you an idea of the work ahead of this team, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you a checklist of the process through which they will be working together. Here it is:

 

  • (Prior preparation completed in the Transition period)
  • Search team members selected for nomination
  • Establish search budget (Council and Budget Committee role)
  • PSC meets for orientation
  • PSC meets with District Minister to review how the District can help with the search
  • Review church information to help determine what kind of candidate is needed
  • Writing of a description for sharing the opening
  • Mobilize the congregation for prayer for the search process
  • Assign PSC members to share progress with the congregation
  • Selection of potential sources ("fishing pools") for finding interested applicants
  • Decide timeline for receiving applicants
  • Decide communication needs for each level of the process (NOTE: Communicate with all applicants at each stage of the process)
  • Selection of what the different levels of information are needed to "narrow the funnel"
  • Survey of the congregation to help determine preferences for candidates
  • Selection of a grid of qualifications to guide the search process
  • Receive training on how to interpret resumes and cover letters
  • Receive resumes and begin processing qualified applicants
  • Decide level 2 applicants to send more questions
  • Creation of personal information form
  • Process applicants using the grid
  • When down to the top 10, acquire references, doctrinal statement, personal information and philosophy of ministry
  • Decide what information to send to the top 10 and send it (could be on-line)
  • Decide of interview questions for first Skype calls
  • Make first Skype call to the top 10
  • Process the top 10 to get down to the top 3
  • Do background checks on the top 3
  • Make second Skype call to the top 3
  • Decide on final candidate
  • Arrange for the final candidate to meet with the MB District Faith and Life Commission
  • Recommend the final candidate to the Church Council
  • Recommend the final candidate to the congregation
  • Plan for the candidating experience
  • Conduct the candidating experience
  • Plan for the installation service
  • Mobilize the congregation to assist the new Pastor in getting settled in Buhler

post a comment

Thursday, August 30, 2018

On September 2nd, our church will vote on and launch the Pastor Search Committee to begin the work of seeking God for and finding a qualified candidate to be the proposed new Lead Pastor for BMBC.........

On September 2nd, our church will vote on and launch the Pastor Search Committee to begin the work of seeking God for and finding a qualified candidate to be the proposed new Lead Pastor for BMBC. Here is a Covenant its members will read and covenant together. Pray for the team as they begin.

 

Buhler MB Church Pastor Search Team Covenant

 

Since we, the Members of the Search Team, have been entrusted with

the responsibility of selecting and recommending a pastor to lead this congregation; and

 

Since we, the members of the Search Team, recognize the importance

of our deliberations on the future presence and impact of Christ in this community; and

 

Since we, the members of the Search Team, recognize that

the selection of a pastor is complicated by human and supernatural factors that are complex;

 

We solemnly enter the following covenant together before the Lord:

 

A covenant of trust.  We will trust the Lord with all of our hearts and not rely primarily on our own understanding.  In all our ways we will acknowledge him and he will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).  In addition, we will trust each other and expect the best out of each other.

 

A covenant of commitment. We will be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10).  We will believe the best about each other, and uphold each other in prayer.

 

A covenant of communication. We will speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).  In our team discussions and in our private conversations we will speak openly and honestly, always with a graciousness that builds up.  The freedom for all to think out loud and express feelings is essential for our evaluative process.

 

A covenant of confidentiality. We have been given a trust, and we will be faithful in keeping confidential what is discussed in team meetings (1 Corinthians 4:2).  The names of potential candidates and team discussions will be kept confidential.  We will report what we can to the congregation, but only when and how agreed upon by the team as a whole.  Specific discussions and decisions of the team will stay with the team.

 

A covenant of diligence.  We will be faithful to our meetings as long as this team is required to function (Hebrews 10:24,25).  We will proceed with thoroughness with each potential candidate.  We will work hard as to keeping prospects informed as to their status, and the congregation informed as to our progress.

 

A covenant of unity.  We will make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).  We will resolve our differences in order to present to the congregation a unified recommendation.

 

Covenant Prayer

 

Dear Heavenly Father, You are a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God. You chose us before the foundation of the world to bring You glory, and You have called us to serve You in the Body of Christ. At this critical juncture in the life of our church, we pause to ask Your blessing on this covenant that we make with one another. Give us joy as we work together for Your glory. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

post a comment

Thursday, August 23, 2018

"Our vision is to intentionally transform communities through Christ." This is Buhler MB's new Vision Statement.............

"Our vision is to intentionally transform communities through Christ."

 

This is Buhler MB's new Vision Statement. With God's guidance and help, the Renewal Team has been working hard to develop our church mission, core values and vision and now that has been accomplished with the drafting of a Vision Statement.

 

A church vision is a statement of God's future for our church. It is intended to provide guidance for every ministry of the church, from nursery to the preaching and worship for our congregation and everything in between. Our Vision Statement goes hand-in-hand with our Mission Statement: "Our Mission is to glorify Christ by loving God, loving others, and making disciples through the power of the Holy Spirit."

 

In order to understand and apply this Vision Statement, you need to understand three very important words in it.

 

First, consider the word "transform." Transformation is a metamorphosis, a radical change in nature and identity. An example from nature is when the contents of a cocoon are dramatically and completely changed into a beautiful butterfly because of God's creative work. To transform a community is to see God's work of power and grace totally change its nature in a way that brings glory to God. The Holy Spirit is the ultimate agent of transformation.

 

Second, take the work "community." A community is a group of people who share one or more common characteristics such as common beliefs, culture, work or ministry. For example, our church is an evangelical faith community. We share a common faith, ministry and church culture. But, as a church at work for the Lord, we impact and help change different types of community. There is our own congregation, but there are also smaller communities within our church such as Sunday School classes, small groups and ministry teams. As a church, we also can help change our greater community of Buhler and beyond. We can also help transform other communities of faith in Reno County and around the world. After all, our God is a BIG and powerful God who wants us to dream BIG.

 

Third, we read the word "intentionally." This strong word means we are praying, planning and working hard to be "transformers" using our message of God's love and good news. If we do something intentionally, we plan for it and we expect it to happen; we do it on purpose. Everyone in the church is needed to be committed to doing the work of biblical transformation on purpose. It motivates us, inspires us, encourages us and stretches us, but we do it! We call that acting by faith in obedience to God.

 

We will know when our Vision Statement is being accomplished when our vision statement is being achieved. Here is our Vision Statement again: "Our vision is to intentionally transform communities through Christ." Let's start moving toward that future with God's help.

 

#BMBC #Vision #mission #transformation #community #church

post a comment

Thursday, August 16, 2018

There have been several questions raised in our discussions about some changes that are going on in our church so I thought I would try to answer these questions for everyone.....

There have been several questions raised in our discussions about some changes that are going on in our church so I thought I would try to answer these questions for everyone.

 

First, some have raised a concern about any changes that might be made in our commonly held doctrine. Along with that question is another that states, "Will our new Constitution and By-laws contain any changes in our beliefs at BMBC?" As your current Interim Pastor I can state with firm conviction that I would not recommend or approve of any doctrinal changes in what we now hold as an MB Church and I believe your Church Council holds this same conviction. As a member church of the U.S. Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Churches, we hold to the Confession of Faith of the USMB.

 

Having said that, I do need to make sure that any candidate that is considering becoming your next pastor be vetted carefully and prayerfully on life, doctrine and ministry. I will advise the Pastor Search Committee to request applicants who are being seriously considered submit to BMBC their personal doctrinal statement for church-wide consideration. Make sure you know where he stands. He will also need to be examined on doctrine and fit with the USMB by the District Faith and Life Committee and that's expected for all candidates at MB Churches. These safeguards are very important.

 

A second question and concern is will our proposed By-laws contain details for ministry by our different ministry teams and leaders? Let me answer that by saying the new By-laws will not go into detail on every aspect of administration and leadership but will paint the broad brush-strokes of leadership. Here's how the different guiding documents of our church will work.

 

The Constitution is the big-picture of what our church is and what it does. Below the "umbrella" of the Constitution comes the By-laws. This document, which is a little longer that our new, short Constitution, will guide our church in how the major ministries of our church do ministry. If the Constitution is a view of our church from the 35,000-foot level, the By-laws look at our church from the 10,000-foot level. Just enough information will be given to see how the ministries of our church begin to work together to accomplish our church Mission. The Constitution and By-laws are changed or amended only by the membership acting as a governing body.

 

The By-laws will have enough information to guide each ministry and leader on the "street-level" in developing policies and procedures to make our church work well and work together. As a further help, each ministry leader will develop or follow a ministry-specific Job Description. The final level of guidance will be given by our different ministry teams who will set goals and evaluate progress and growth for their ministry. This is kitchen table work.

 

To ensure that our church is running and serving well for the glory of God, the Church Council (of Team of Elders if approved) will approve all policies and Job Descriptions.

 

Please continue to raise questions, positive comments and concerns. That is needed.

 

#BMBC #USMB #constitution #by-laws #churchcouncil #elders

post a comment

The W's of the Leadership Retreat

Pastor's Blog

October 18, 2018

 

On Saturday, November 3rd, we are having a BMBC Leadership Retreat and all ministry leaders are invited.

 

Here are the facts:

 

What? The Leadership Retreat is an opportunity to have the ministry leaders at our church gather to hear about and talk about the continued transformation of BMBC and our various ministries.

 

Who? All ministry leaders and leadership team members are invited. This includes the leaders of our church ministries such as Christian Education, Worship, Wednesday Night Light, Youth, Pastor Search, Renewal Team, Council, Deacons, Life Groups, Kitchen, Sunday School classes, Spiritual Gifts Committee, Missions/Evangelism, Trustees, Children's Church, Communication Team, Decorating Committee, Library Committee, Social Committee, Women's Ministries, Ushers, Greeters, Nursery, etc. Pastor Charlie will be leading the retreat but will be assisted by members of our Renewal Team. If you are a team leader of a ministry and can't come, please get one or two other leaders from your team to come and report back to you.

 

When? The Retreat takes place on Saturday, November 3rd, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in the meeting room of the Dillon Nature Center. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Those who attend will gain maximum benefit for themselves and their ministries if they come for the whole time.

 

Why? During the last 10 months, the Renewal Team has been seeking to help our church become healthier with a clear mission, vision and core values. These leaders have also been working on developing a "Simple Church" model and currently a disciple-making pathway to help all our ministries and members know how to be part of a church that is serious about spiritual growth by loving God, loving others and making disciples of Jesus. Now is the time to share how all this impact and help all ministries in the church. This retreat will be a call to participate in church and community transformation and will include training and coaching for ministry leaders.