Steward Team

Steward Team Candidates and Reconciliation

Tonight, we announced the names of the two candidates for Steward Team. (Two posts from our 2015 transition process lay out the role of Steward Team at Open Door and our nomination process which has been underway the last few months.)

After community nominations were received, a discernment team comprised of a cross-section of leaders at Open Door prayed, affirmed and discerned a smaller list of candidates to present to the current Steward Team. In light of Open Door's current season and next steps, Steward Team prayerfully invited candidates into conversation about joining Steward Team. After their own discernment and prayer, two candidates - Julie Fiske and Nathan McKnelly - accepted the invitation and were announced to Open Door.

Reconciliation is essential to our understanding of God's activity in the world and, as such, believe it to be a necessary practice for us in the Open Door family. Before commissioning Julie and Nate as members of our team of elders, we make space for and invitation into reconciliation. If there is any relational interruption or potential questions you have for either candidate, please prioritize and initiate reconciling conversations with them at this time. If any situation might require mediation or coaching, please be in touch with Dave or another member of Steward Team. 

At the conclusion of this reconciliation stage, we will commission Julie and Nate as members of Open Door's Steward Team (tentatively scheduled for the August 21 Gathering). 

Join us in prayer and reconciliation!

Engage in the Life of the Open Door Family

Yesterday, we posted an update from our Steward Team and at our Gathering, Steward Team shared their thematic goal for the upcoming year: to develop clear on-roads into the life of the Open Door family. Steward Team's focus throughout the year will be to develop and catalyze the resources of Open Door to support this thematic goal, but as was shared last night, it's not possible to "program family!" We will grow together as a family through a combination of (a) Open Door's resourcing (leadership/staff, environments, teaching content, Circle guidance, etc.), (b) each of our personal initiative, and (c) the Holy Spirit's weaving and cultivation. In light of this, will you take some time to reflect on three key areas of engagement in Open Door's life with the following questions:

Engaged Presence

  • How do I prioritize gathering with the family on Sunday evenings?
  • Am I aware of the needs of those in the Open Door family and how do I respond?

Intelligent, Courageous Contribution

  • Am I courageously generous with my resources (i.e. time, finances, talents, ideas)?
  • Do I initiate giving of myself and my resources, or do I wait to be asked?

Movement toward Authentic Relationship

  • How have I recently engaged with someone outside the Gathering? Do we share about how God is moving in our lives?
  • Am I comfortable being my true self with the Open Door family, or do I tend to put up a front?

On January 11, Steward Team will host a wine and cheese night after the Gathering to dialogue and converse about this year's thematic goal and Open Door's movement in these areas.

In the meantime, feel free to reach out to any member of Steward Team or email ben@abluedoor.com to reach Steward Team's chair, Ben Johanson.

Steward Team Update - December 2014

Note: See this related post for an invitation to reflection on your engagement in Open Door's family life. Friends,

ODC.Logo_2Every fall, Steward Team gathers for a retreat to reflect on Open Door's previous year and to discern direction for the next twelve months. Out of this time together we develop a Thematic Goal that focuses our work moving forward. Our Thematic Goal for 2014 was “To refine current organizational structure and expand paid staff." Key initiatives that emerged included the development of the Circles environment and the hiring of our Pastor of Community Formation, Dave Kludt.

At our retreat this September we celebrated the stories emerging from the integration of Circles and Gatherings and the addition of the Kludt family to our community. As we reflected on our focus for this coming year, the word that rose to the surface was "Family." We've always identified ourselves as "a family of sojourners learning to walk in the way of Jesus for the good of the world" (our identity statement), but we began asking questions like:

  • How does the Holy Spirit weave us together as a family?
  • What are signs of health and areas of growth for our family?
  • How must Open Door’s staff & structure resource the cultivation of our family?
  • What kind of personal initiative is necessary to grow within our family?

With these questions in mind, Steward Team developed this year’s Thematic Goal:To develop clear on-roads into the life of the Open Door family." Already this Thematic Goal is shaping our life together in Circles, our recent teaching series, and the ODC Orientation Circle and Square One initiative, both designed to help us understand who we are and how we can become engaged contributors to the Open Door family. In 2015, watch for an updated website, Winter and Spring Circles, the Discover Retreat (March 13-15), the Selah Retreat (May 29-31), and other exposure points designed to resource our cultivation as a family.

This year, let’s deepen our engaged presence with one another as we join God in what He’s doing all around us. Let’s also commit to intelligent and courageous contributions to what God is doing in and through Open Door. If one of your contributions is financial, please consider a year-end gift and/or commit to consistent giving throughout the coming year. Finally, let’s proactively move toward authentic relationship with one another as we listen for the voice of the Spirit and live what we hear.

We are thrilled and humbled at God's ongoing faithfulness and are excited to move forward together as God's Spirit continues to cultivate us into a Jesus-following family.

With gratitude and anticipation,

The Open Door Steward Team

Ben Johanson, Rebecca Olson, Tony Collins, Alison Knox, Brendan Cheney, Heidi Brandow, Dave Kludt, & Jer Swigart

Note: See this related post for an invitation to reflection on your engagement in Open Door's family life.

Elder Transition

Next Sunday, we'll officially kick off our annual Steward Team transition process. Steward Team is a community of elders that is made up of men & women who steward the holistic cultivation of The Open Door Community by listening for God’s dream for us and our context and mobilizing us to participate in His dream coming true (Acts 20:17-38; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1).

Our elders serve for a three-year term and then cycle off.  This process is intentionally regenerative as it reminds us of our work to continue cultivating followers of Jesus.  Kara Lynch and Charlene O'Brien (2 of our original elders) will be cycling off the team in August.

Here's the road ahead:

  1. Next Sunday, June 1, we'll explore the role of eldership at our gathering and officially launch the process.
  2. On Tuesday, June 10, we'll do a communal day of fasting & prayer that will conclude at Brendan & Emily's home for prayer, silent nominations, and dinner.
  3. Nominations can be emailed to Emily anytime between June 1 and June 15.  Nominations conclude @ 6:30pm on June 15.  Please include your nomination's name and 3 reasons why you feel he or she is a viable candidate for Steward Team.
  4. On Wednesday, June 18, a team of leaders will process Open Door's nominations and make a recommendation to Steward Team.
  5. Our current Steward Team will begin conversations with candidates in July.
  6. 2 new elders will be commissioned in August.

The beauty of this process is that it creates a communal space for us to listen and be formed together.  I greatly encourage you to participate in it.

I pray a blessing on you and on us as we continue to become a worshiping family on mission.

Yours, Jer

Hiring Now: Pastor of Community Formation

now_hiring_banner We're pleased to announce that Steward Team has officially launched the hiring process for our Pastor of Community Formation.

Click Here to listen to Brendan's 12 minute explanation at last night's Gathering.

All information on what the role of Pastor of Community Formation will entail, as well as who we're looking for, can be found HERE. Please feel free to pass this information along to others whom you would consider viable candidates for this role.

In addition to describing who we're looking for and how he or she will enhance our team and mission, Brendan offered the following invitations: 1.  Pray for our Steward Team, Staff, and Hiring Team as we follow Jesus into this process together. 2.  Pray for the person who will serve as our Pastor of Community Formation. 3.  Invest in our mission through a monthly tithe.  Online giving can be set up HERE. 4.  Join members from Open Door's Staff, Steward Team, & Hiring Team for an evening of wine, cheese, and conversation HERE immediately following our gathering on Sunday, February 9th at 7:30pm.

Friends, this is an incredible moment in the life of our community. Let's join together in praying over and resourcing our mission.

With hope and anticipation, Jer

Eldership & Open Door

As we understand it, the church is a community of people, led by Jesus, that embodies the Reconciling Mission of God here and now.  When we talk about the Church, we do so within at least three spheres: Universal (all followers of Jesus that span place and time); Regional (the localized Church represented in myriad expressions); and Local (the particular expression of the Church that is your "home" church). Since the inception of the Church, we have been a communally led organism.  Jesus is the Head and Chief Architect (Colossians 1:18) who leads through a community of elders: men and women who steward the holistic cultivation of a regional and/or local expression of the Church (Acts 20:17-38; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1).

Elders lead in three ways. First, they Follow in the Way of Jesus (Acts 20:18-19).  They are men and women who are not not perfect but are Rooted in Christ, Woven together as family, Extend Sacrificial Love, and Cultivate others to be & do the same.  Second, they Oversee the Body (Acts 20:28).  They carefully consider the overall health of the church and champion the mission by listening well and guiding the community to live out what we hear Jesus saying to us.  Third, they Cultivate others  (Acts 20:24, 27).  They have the Gospel burning in them; they know the Scriptures; they share freely in word and in life what Jesus is saying to them; and they experientially train others to be & do the same.

Due to the influence that this community has within the larger community, the qualifications for elder-ship are stringent (1 Timothy offers sixteen qualifications in seven verses!).

  • Above reproach: they have wrestled blatant, overt, public, sinful behavior.  They have authentically acknowledged their own sin with others and are no longer captive.
  • Not a polygamist: Marriage doesn't seem to be a requirement of elder-ship.  However, if married, they are living in covenant commitment with their spouse.  if not married.
  • Sober Minded, Self-Controlled: they have control of their appetites.
  • Respectable: they demonstrate a keen awareness of their strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and belovedness by God.
  • Hospitable: they consistently open themselves and their homes to strangers (lost, different, least of these)
  • Not violent or quarrelsome, but gentle: they can graciously disagree.
  • Free from love of money: they are courageously generous.
  • Manage household well: they prioritize the cultivation of their family.
  • Not new converts: they are seasoned followers of Jesus.
  • Good reputation: they are in good standing with those outside of the community (friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc.)

Every year, we go through a process of elder transition for two reasons: First, we want to be regenerative in our leadership process.  If we are serious about cultivating followers of Jesus, we should always have a growing number of people who can serve in the capacity of elder.  Second, we want new perspectives on our Steward Team.  This is helpful in keeping our posture humble and our ears open to what Jesus is saying to us.

Ultimately, our dream is to see heaven and earth woven together again in the East Bay and Beyond.  We believe that this dream comes true as we become communities of people who embody the Reconciling Mission of God from within the spaces we live, work, and play.  Our elders are men and women who lead by living out this kind of life.

 You are invited into our process of Elder Transition.

  1. Nominate someone for our Steward Team by emailing Faye.  All nominations will be kept anonymous.  Nominations should include the person's name and 2-3 bullet points that clearly demonstrate why this person should be considered as a candidate for Steward Team.  Nominations are due by 12:00pm on Tuesday, June 18th.
  2. Join us on Monday, June 17th for a communal fast.  Throughout the day, please pray over our Steward Team (Kara, Tim, Ben, Tony, Charlene, Jer), our Staff (Jer & Elizabeth), our Leaders (Lead Team, Resource Team, Teaching Team), our Community, and our Context.
  3. Join us on Monday evening @ 7pm for a time of Listening & Prayer that will conclude with Silent Nominations and a delicious soup & bread dinner at the Hasegawa's home.
  4.  Nominations are due by 12pm (Noon!) on Tuesday, June 18th.

From there, the list of nominations will be considered by our Lead Team who will make a recommendation to Steward Team about how they should proceed.  Steward Team will consider the recommendation and begin a process with potential candidates.  Our desire is that our two new elders will be in place by the end of August.