Working With Complaints – Geoffrey Skilton

Working With Complaints: a decade on, what have we experienced?
Discipline Process Review Group

 Welcome to the conversation
To date, I’ve never had to consult chapter 15 of the Book of Order or the wider disciplinary sections of the Book of Order or the associated Supplementary Provision for the purpose of lodging a complaint against a member of the church. Neither have I been the subject of a complaint. Likewise, the church councils of which I have been a member have not had cause to dive into the relevant sections. However, others have not been so fortunate. For the church courts, councils and individuals who have been a party to a complaint, the experiences are varied. Continue reading

Clergy Reviews – Realistic and Hopeful? by Vivian Coleman

Vivian Coleman is a Presbyterian minister who has also served in the Baptist context. She is passionate about supporting pastoral leaders.

How do the insights and systems of the business sector inform the management practices of the Christian church? About five years ago, I began studying Human Resources Management in the corporate world, and enrolled for Masters of Business with a view to researching how churches practice evaluation and accountability of their clergy. I had participated in or observed pastor review processes that were helpful, as well as some that were painful, or inadequate, Continue reading

An encounter that shaped my ministry: time with John O’Donohue

This post is authored by John Burton Hunt, and has been posted on his behalf by blog moderator, Jose Reader.

A harsh spirit

I was a Plunket baby. The nurse told my mother, “Feed baby every four hours, ten minutes on each side, and if he cries after three hours, don’t go to him. He will have you running to him all the time. It won’t hurt him to cry for an hour”. I cried – and so did my mother.

What is the underlying assumption? That a baby is a tyrant who needs discipline? What is the underlying belief? The doctrine of original sin. It was said, “Sin lurks at the door of the womb”. Continue reading

Being real

I noticed that our Moderator Andrew Norton made a few comments in his recent White Paper about ministers being more “professional”. I agree with his lament that our systems are somewhat hit-and-miss when it comes ministers growing and developing in their roles.

One thing I’ve been trying to understand is what is going on with the people who don’t get what I’m on about. Is their issue with the message I am conveying, or is their issue with me and my style?

I have been accused of a number of things in my years of ministry… arrogance, flippancy, laziness, lack of focus, lack of stickability, inconsistency, holding back, not holding back, not listening, impatience… and much more. Continue reading