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The qualities that govern our life together as a church community may in many cases seem to run counter to the qualities that predominate in most of the organizational structures that are taken for granted as normative in the world outside the church.

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Churches are living beings (“the body of Christ” I Corinthians 12:27). Living beings are not tidy or predictable. At times they inevitably operate in ways that may seem poorly planned. This slightly anarchic quality in churches makes it vital that the leadership hold firm adherence to the underlying principles that guide the life of the community.

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Every years, around this time, many churches find themselves beginning to work under the guidance of a new Parish Council/Church Board/Board of Elders.

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NB: lest the issues addressed in this post, the next one, and the four preceding ones seem outdated or irrelevant to the current life of the church, please preface your reading of what follows by visiting: http://www.anglicanjournal.com/articles/retired-bishop-caledonia-leaves-anglican-church-canada-breakaway-group/

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One of my favourite things about this blog is when a comment comes in response to a post that far surpasses the original post in insight, wisdom… and even on occasion in wit.

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It may be the most important, least understood, and most challenging strategy of all:

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The strategies for staying together that I believe have helped the people in the church I serve to continue together in ministry with the same person in leadership for so long, are not so much “strategies” as they are attitudes.

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All of the strategies for staying together in ministry are pretty simple; none of them is easy.

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Estimates vary, but generally the average length that one person stays as the primary pastor in a single congregation is said to be between 3.6 and 7 years. Three decades is a bit unusual…. ok a lot unusual.

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Thirty years is a long time to do anything. But to stay in the same church community in ministry for three decades is a miracle.

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Pre-April 2010 posts: http://inaspaciousplace.blogspot.com/

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