Finding True North in Your Church

Hand held compasses aren't used much in today's world with the onset of handheld GPS units.  However, there is something we can learn from old fashioned compasesses -- the need to find True North.

Magnetic north, where the needle on a magnetic compass points, is different from true north.  Val tells this story --
When I was leading a group of Girl Scouts in the mountains of Colorado, I had to teach them to correct their compass in order to reach our campsite.  If we didn't make the adjustment for the magnetic pull, we would wander off course and miss our lodging for the night.  Without the adjustment, the further we traveled from our original location, the farther off course we would be.  Finding true north was essential for hiking home.

The same is true for our work in the church.  It is so easy, after our opening prayer, to be task oriented in our meetings and gatherings.  We have so much work to do that we let the demands of tasks and programs pull us away from the One who is our common center  -- the Triune God.  We, too need to re-orient ourselves and our work on God.

Here are a few ideas to use to find True North

  1. Offer an extended time for prayer and mediation before a meeting.  Remember many people have had a full day of work and need a time to re-center on God.
  2. Stop in the middle of a meeting for silence and meditation to remind yourselves that the work you are doing is God's work.
  3. Discuss what it means to have God as an active "business partner" in your work. What new ways can you try to hear what God wants in the midst?
  4. Sing a song of thanksgiving when something special happens in the meeting.
  5. Light a Christ candle to remind you that Christ is present in the meeting.
  6. Look to the Bible for stories that inform your discussion. 
  7. Talk about sabbath in your church and encourage members to practice this command from God. 
  8. Tell stories of God's faithfulness in the church.
  9. Read and discuss Transforming Church Boards into Communities of Church Leaders by Charles M. Olsen
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