sexta-feira, junho 30, 2006

Enquanto isso no lado de cima do mundo

Theological Basis for Our Paradigm Shifts
by Deborah M. Gill

As we at the National Office contend to make the General Council a world-class ministry and workplace, the most important thing to us is What Jesus Thinks. Before we consider launching any initiatives, we want to make sure we first understand what Jesus thinks About the Issues Surrounding Transformation.
The RoadMap Design Team identified thirteen necessary changes in the way we will think and behave at the General Council in order to conform our place of ministry to Jesus' example. This brief overview presents The Theological Basis of Our Paradigm Shifts. (To the degree that we are practicing them now-we encourage even greater emphasis; to the degree that we are not yet practicing them-we encourage intentional initiatives to change our ways of thinking and behaving.)
Hal Donaldson, Ron McManus, Juleen Turnage, and I (Deborah Gill) were drafted as the Theological Task Force to the RoadMap Design Team. I thank my team members for their contributions to this assignment. You may access this PowerPoint presentation, its text, and the unabridged document of the Theological Task Force in the Public Folders under "Transformation."
The thirteen paradigm shifts the RoadMap Design Team sees as essential to the General Council's transformation are clustered into three priorities that pervade the life and teachings of Jesus (as well as the whole Bible). The theological basis for our transformation is rooted in the Priorities of Jesus. What is important to Him, must be as important to us! These are three of the priorities of Jesus:
1. People and Relationships People matter to God-more than anything else! Jesus put a priority on relationships, with his Father, with his followers, and with the Lost. If we are to be like Jesus, we must do the same.
2. Unity, as the Body of ChristJesus' prayer for His followers is that we would be one, just as He and His Father are one. Unity is evidence to the world that Jesus was sent by God and thus glorifies the Father. God honored the unity of Christ's followers in the Upper Room by sending them the Holy Spirit.
3. Ministry and Servant LeadershipJesus came "not be served, but to serve." Christ's leadership is characterized by His servanthood. In the Greek of the New Testament, the word for ministry means service and service means ministry. We minister to Christ when we serve one another.
This first priority of Jesus, His Priority on People and Relationships [that] people matter -more than anything else, is the basis for the following paradigm shifts:
Employee Focus The employees of the General Council are not a commodity of the organization to be used and expended as it sees fit, but a treasure on loan from Jesus to be stewarded for Him: cherished, protected, and bettered. Therefore the General Council will invest in its employees and help them be all they can be.
Customer Focus We live to serve our constituents, and not vice versa. Our goal is to meet their needs, not just to sell our products. To that end we will listen to and learn from them; we will build genuine, caring relationships with them. We will see our relationship with them more as consultants than a sales force.
Open and Honest Communication Those who care for each other speak the truth in love. As a biblical community, we have zero-tolerance for gossip, slander, two-faced communication, or "sugar-coating" bad news because is hard to share. We practice "tough love" in our communication, knowing that though salt may sting, it also savors and sanctifies.
A wise, aging minister from the rank and file of our Fellowship, summarized the last of our relational paradigm shifts with a principle that has transformed his pastoral ministry:
"Never use people to build the church, use the church to build people!"
This second priority of Jesus, His Priority on Unity, [or] as [the Apostle Paul emphasized] the Body of Christ [demonstrated when] Jesus prayed that we would be one, is the basis for the following paradigm shifts:
One Organization Just as the Church is to be the One Body of Christ, the General Council is not a holding company of separate and independent ministries, but one organization. There is no "us and them;" we speak and serve as one body. When one part hurts, we all suffer; when one is honored, we all rejoice.
Teamwork We are a team-the best contribution of each member and every group is valuable and vital to our being the best for Jesus! No individuals or areas are "second class," whether they serve churches in the field or employees in Springfield.
Accepting the Costs of Ministry We will be honest in acknowledging that costs are involved in every service of the General Council. Whether an area's revenue is generated from sales, whether its funds are raised from donations, whether its charges are billed for as services, or whether its budget is pre-paid by the General Council-ministry costs money. No area will be depreciated for how their work is paid for. It is biblical to "bestow more abundant honor on that part which lacks."
Valuing Diversity We will be intentional in seeking out and including a variety of people and perspectives, especially those under-represented among us.
Cross-boundary Partnerships Because we are a team, we will work together. We will not compete with one another, but by sharing our materiel and human resources across boundaries we will leverage their value. Through synergy we can be so much more together than we can alone.
Unified Product-Line Architecture Because we are one organization, we will design all our products with the others in mind. All products of our "brand" will share common elements, such as values, doctrine, and style; they will function well together as a family of products or a suite of services.
This third priority of Jesus, His Priority on Ministry and Servant Leadership [captured in His statement that He came] "not to be served, but to serve," is the basis for the following paradigm shifts:
Servant Leadership Jesus' example at the Last Supper is in stark contrast to many secular leadership models. Removing His robe, He took up the towel, and served His disciples in the humblest of roles-washing their feet. Jesus reversed the "power pyramid" by teaching us that "the greatest is the servant of all." Instead of "lording it over [others] as the pagans [do]," may our leaders enable and facilitate those within their sphere of influence.
Every Group is a Ministry Because the New Testament concept of ministry is service and service is ministry, every group will be considered a ministry. No area is to be esteemed more highly for their "spiritual work;" no area is to be devalued as a "support service." We are all laborers together with God-each gifted and placed differently-but all in ministry together for Christ.
Stewardship and Accountability Both Jesus and Paul emphasize our responsibility to use wisely what has been entrusted to us, whether that be the good news about Jesus, our time and money, or our gifts and talents. As Christ's love slaves, these assets are not our own but His. We are accountable to exercise the greatest of care over His resources. And just as God rewards those who are faithful by entrusting them more to manage, so also will the General Council.
These are the thirteen paradigm shifts, supported by their theological bases, that the RoadMap Design Team sees as essential to the General Council's transformation. We are convinced that we will be more pleasing to God and thus more blessed in our ministry when our values match the Priorities of Jesus. We want our thinking and behaving to be like His. To that end, we will place top priority on:

People and Relationships
believing that People matter to God-more than anything else!
Unity, as the Body of Christ,
endeavoring to fulfill Jesus' prayer that we would be one.
Ministry and Servant Leadership,
following Jesus' example who came "not be served, but to serve."
Please join us on the journey to be a world-class ministry organization for