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Showing posts from November 11, 2007

Positive Decision on Entrance to Candidacy

What does that mean? In order to go forward in pursuing a call to ministry in the ELCA, one must be entered into the candidacy process. "The committee assesses the applicant's sense of call, potential for leadership and spiritual, psychological, and situational readiness to begin the process of preparation. In consultation with the candidacy committee, the applicant applies for admission to an ELCA seminary or plans another course of study." (

They said yes! I have already applied to the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and they are processing my application. God willing, we will move there to begin studies in the Fall of 2008. "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope" (Jer 29:11).

Systems Theory and Church Health

Quick, easy fixes are the antithesis of systems thinking. It is challenging, “because it is much harder to integrate new tools than simply apply them separately” (Senge, 2006, p. 11). This is an all encompassing discipline: the individual disciplines being like instruments in an orchestra, the fifth discipline being the orchestra. “By enhancing each of the other disciplines, it … reminds us that the whole can exceed the sum of its parts.” (Senge, p. 12).
This process of systems thinking parallels “Natural Church Development” (Schwarz, 2006, p. 10). Senge writes, “…vision without systems thinking ends up painting lovely pictures of the future with no deep understanding of the forces that must be mastered to move from here to there” (Senge, 2006, p. 12). Natural Church Development call this “passionate spirituality” (Schwarz, 2006, p. 28) without “effective structures” (Schwarz, p. 30). Healthy churches are characterized by strength in eight earmarks.
This discipline is useful in current …