• REPOST – Towards a Healthy Church – The Three-Legged Stool

    For the remainder of 2020, I will be reposting the most viewed posts from this past year. This week, is the second most viewed post of 2020. New posts will return on January 8th, with my book summaries (12/31) and new reading list (1/1) posted on their usual schedules. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you find it helpful, I encourage you to share this site with others. The following post was first posted on this in June of 2019. Each of these repostings are in their original, unedited form. — In this week’s post, I want to highlight the three-legged stool. First, let me…

  • REPOST – Being Part of the (Toy) Story, Part 3

    For the remainder of 2020, I will be reposting the most viewed posts from this past year. This week is the third most viewed post of 2020 on our way to the most viewed post of the year. New posts will return on January 8th, with my book summaries (12/31) and new reading list (1/1) posted on their usual schedules. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you find it helpful, I encourage you to share this site with others. The following post was first posted on this in November of 2018. Each of these repostings are in their original, unedited form. — Before reading this…

  • CEW is Launching

    The wait is over. Ok, so not everyone has been waiting, but some have, and for those who have, the wait ends Monday, November 4. You may recall that during the first part of this year, I did a series on administering the church. It is natural for me to talk about such matters because it is one of the courses I teach at seminary. But, frankly, it represented a drift from the overall purpose of this blog. If I squint and look hard enough, I can see a connection, but, well, fotonni is not meant for that purpose. So, in the last post in June, I mentioned a change…

  • Announcing CEW

    This blog is meant to help us to live in, not of the world. In fact, that is the title of this blog in reverse. fotonni are the letters to the words “in not of” spelled backwards. The idea is that Christians should see this world as different than God intended. Instead of doing something upside-down, I chose to reverse the order of the letters. fotonni was the first emphasis of my personal ministry. By personal ministry, I mean what I do outside of my role on staff at a church. fotonni began in late 2003 and has largely focused on blogging over the past 7+ years. However, my ministry…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Policies and Procedures

    The last set of church documents to be reviewed are the policies and procedures of the church. Technically, these are two different types of documents with policies providing principles for WHAT the church (or any organization) desires and the procedure is the HOW to fulfill the outcome. Therefore, these two types of documents are very closely related and are often combined together in thought and in function. In last week’s post, I mentioned that in many cases, churches will create bylaws based upon a reaction to something. The example I used was not allowing red kool-aid in a place of worship. The challenge with this idea is that bylaws are…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Clarifying Bylaws

    Throughout the last couple of months, I have been blogging about the different types of documentation that a church needs. More types can be used than what I will include in this part of this series, but the items I have shared (Job Descriptions, Constitution, Bylaws, and to a lesser degree Team Descriptions) are important to help the church be properly identified, and know how to generally conduct the business of the church. However, two more important types of documents remain. One is a document defining policies and the other is the set of procedures. These two document types are commonly included together as Policies and Procedures. Many churches have…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – The Constitution and Bylaws

    Over the past several weeks, I have been discussing the need for church documentation. As I have tried to clearly convey, THE document of (and for) the church is the Bible. If a church places emphasis on any document (or book) above the Bible, then that church is in dire straits. However, having other documents to guide and govern the church is important. And these other documents should find their basis in the Bible. When most people think of a document that is used by the church, they might think of a bulletin, or perhaps, a newsletter. These documents are not the types of documents I am highlighting, but a…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – The Three-Legged Stool

    In this week’s post, I want to highlight the three-legged stool. First, let me give you a little background. One of the reasons that I chose to focus on Christian Education (and, as a byproduct, Church Administration) is the pragmatic nature of administration. Of course, in any discipline or field of study, unknown variables exist, but in the realm of the church, the spiritual element is impossible to measure. That is not bad – in fact it is GREAT. If we could accurately, and fully, measure the work of the Holy Spirit, then we would no longer need God, because we would be God. But, for some of us who…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Job Evaluations

    In the previous two posts, I have written about descriptions at the team and individual job level. Again, it is important to note that a job description does not need to imply the position is paid. Each position in any organization, including churches, can (and probably should) have a description of duties. Why? Well, the first is so the person(s) can know what the position entails. But the second is so that the person(s) can be evaluated. I realize that evaluation is not necessarily considered positive. Many people become tense when they hear the word “review” when related to a job. But we review any number of items every day.…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Job Descriptions

    In last week’s post, I provided some insights on why having a team description is helpful. Although many churches and organizations do not use this idea, knowing how a person (and position) fits into the overall dynamic of a team can be helpful. Many mid-sized and larger churches are using more of these ideas as more and more are becoming concerned with the overall interpersonal dynamics that are involved. However, the primary reason Team Descriptions are not prevalent is that many churches do not have job descriptions.* And people are more concerned about what they are doing (or are to do) than they are about fitting in with others, at…