A few months back (Seismic :: Elders; May 20, 2012), we explored the biblical concept (roles & qualifications) of eldership and told the story of the formation of our original community of elders: the Steward Team. In short, the role of our Steward Team is to steward the holistic formation of The Open Door Community. Their job is to proactively abide in a listening posture with the Spirit of Jesus and to courageously lead our community into God's dream for us. Kara Lynch, Tim Halls, Charlene O'Brien, Kerry O'Brien, and Jer Swigart have served faithfully as our initial Steward Team. The time to expand our community of elders has come.
Following our teaching, we invited you into a day of communal fasting that concluded with an evening of listening, prayer, and nominations. A list of over thirty names were received for consideration. That list was passed along to Open Door's Lead Team who entered into a process of discernment and listening on behalf of our community. By the end of their process, Lead Team presented a recommendation to the Steward Team that included a focused list of candidates to be considered. At that time, Steward Team entered into conversation with four individuals, two men and two women. On their own initiative, two of those candidates opted to remove themselves from consideration for this year. The other two have continued through our process of conversation, prayer, and discernment and are, at this time, being strongly considered for inclusion on Steward Team.
We are pleased to announce that those two candidates are Ben Johanson and Tony Collins.
One final step of communal discernment remains...a step that we invite all of The Open Door Community into:
Psalm 133 says, "How good it is when family lives together in unity."
In John 17, Jesus prays that we would be ONE, not just for our own sake, but for the sake of the watching world. Jesus knew that the watching world will discover the truth about who God is and experience His tangible love because of our unity.
Paul writes, in Ephesians 4, that we are to eagerly maintain the unity of the Spirit.
Unity is a big deal to our God and is, therefore, a big deal to us. Thus, we invite you to join us in pursuing and preserving the Unity that is ours in a very specific way:
In Matthew 5, Jesus teaches that if you are at the altar of worship and remember that your friend has something against you, stop everything that you're doing and proactively pursue reconciliation with your brother or sister.
In Matthew 18, Jesus expands this teaching to include the work of reconciliation with with anyone who has hurt/offended/or sinned against you in any way.
This is the work that we are invited you into with Tony and with Ben.
If you recognize that there is anything (big or small) that has interrupted your relationship with either of these two men, then we ask you to pursue unity by engaging in the work of reconciliation with them. They have been invited into the same work with you. If you feel as though mediation is necessary, then anyone from our current Steward Team will be happy to enter into that work with you. Additionally, if you feel strongly that one or both of these men are not qualified to lead The ODC in the capacity of eldership, then we invite you to contact Kara Lynch before this Sunday, September 16th.
Thank you for joining us in this essential work. Please pray over Steward Team, Tony, Ben, and our Community as we seek to listen well for and faithfully live into God's future for us.