And They’re Off

KoinoniaI’m late: one of the last pastors to leave Wyoming for New York. The weather turned nasty, and many of the brothers made a run for the border (with Colorado) on Sunday. Due to obligations, I stayed, praying that the roads would remain open and safe to use overnight.

Much has been said about the Koinonia Project in general, but little has been written about it specifically in action. This is, to some extent, by design. For the Koinonia Project to work, pastors must be free to speak, without fear that their comments will be immediately posted to social media, and dissected throughout the blogosphere. Any statements that are made are made publicly by the group and approved by all members of that group.

I respect that limitation, and therefore I will also not be publishing anything about the content of discussions, except perhaps my own answers to some questions. They represent my own thoughts about various topics, and will in no way involve what others may have said. I’ve gotten a copy of the agenda, and it looks like there is time for substantive discussion. The prayer is that such time will be fruitful.

However, a limitation regarding discussion does not mean that I can not, in fairness, discuss the process itself. If this is to work, the process must be open to constructive criticism and improvement. After all, this is still an experimental work. (We are a “pilot project.”)  So, I plan to comment about the process itself: What we do in general, how it might be improved in the future, etc.

So far, we know that it will be groups of about seven or eight pastors. As there are twice as many Atlantic District Pastors going as from Wyoming (Atlantic is twice as large), there are 2 Wyoming District and 4-5 Atlantic District pastors at each table. This is a fair number. It allows for each person to have discussion. The original concept was for groups of 10-12, but given the short time table, smaller groups = more time per person. One at each table is appointed facilitator. His job is to help the discussion remain honest and open, while also making sure it is loving and kind. His job is not to stifle honest debate, but to help ensure that such debate is constructive, destructive. (No personal attacks, etc.)

There are some bible studies on the concept of Koinonia in the New Testament, and discussions of what we see as problems in the synod. I leave my computer (and more importantly, my home and family) now for four days. By God’s grace, I will return with a greater appreciation for my brother pastors and the work they do, under Christ.

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