I know that many do not want to sign up for whatever reason, but that is not going to stop me from pressing forward.

In a near perfect world!

In a near perfect world I would like to create a team that works with me for the leadership of the churches. This seems to be the big rub. You are all very busy in your work and family life. I get this, or at least I think I do. I did have experience in life prior to becoming a pastor as a lay person that spent a lot of time at church. Some if it was spent leading the youth group. Some was leading other Bible studies. Some was being a part of the various committees. Oh, and I was also part of the choir and contemporary worship band. This, as you know takes time. I did this while working full time and still had plenty of time to do what I wanted. I was frustrated at the lack of ‘others’ involvement. My attitude at times was I am spending this much time at church; why do others, who in my opinion were much more spiritual than I, not want to be involved? While I do not know that answer, and probably never will, I made the decision to be involved, it was as if I was being called to be there. It was something that I knew or felt should be done. There were times when I did so begrudgingly, I did not want to be saddled with others expected outcomes, or I found myself disappointed by the lack of response to something I really put a lot of effort and energy in. This I believe to be part of human nature. Often times I did not know what the time commitment was or how long it would last.

So, who knows the kind of time commitment and sacrifices it will take to come together. We want it to be minimal as we do have other things going on. Yet we want to have a great impact on the life of the church and those who will follow Jesus. When I have been nervous or anxious about taking the steps forward in ministry, it is often because I am overthinking the who, why, what, where, and when. I have found that when I step out and move toward the goal, it was far easier than I anticipated. Here is an example from when I was a mechanic. When a new car comes out the mechanics gather around and ooh and ahhh over the design. In the back of my mind was, “How hard is this going to be to fix? “What am I going to have to figure out to access or repair the transmission?” So when one would come in needing repair for the first time I would often overwork to get the first couple done. Mind you, I would be looking at what was minimally necessary to get the job done to increase my proficiency. I would also watch others doing the same or similar job, to see what they did differently to improve my own performance.

So when I think of creating a team of leaders for this three point charge I need to first declare the goals we are (I am) trying to accomplish. Then look for ways to use the information I(we) already have to streamline the process.

Building a team to do what? I foresee the team would be able to look at an annual calendar, review what we have done in the past and be able to break that down into what worked well and what did not work so well. Next would be to consider if this is something we need to do again and what improvements we might make. This would be categorized into four categories. Worship, Outreach, Mission and ‘In-reach’.

Worship would deal with the worship services including planning for series and seasonal, music, and things related to the worship services.

Outreach would be how are we going to reach into the community.

Mission (a close but distinctly different focus than outreach) is looking at how we can make a difference in the world.

In-reach is how we keep ourselves fed (Bible studies and spiritual practices) but also needs to include having fun!!!

The time commitment at first will be greater as we get things going, but I still do not expect this to an overwhelming addition to what you already do. Much of this can be done through email, text and phone calls. 



For those who were directly invited to this blog I would like to share a couple of thoughts and instructions.

First, what are my goals with using this? My goals for this would be to build community among the leaders of all three congregations. I believe the goal of each church is the same, how we accomplish those is where there are differences. So the goal of the church is to make disciples of Christ. There are NO OTHER goals. Jesus was pretty clear in the the goal to “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 29:19) So that is the goal, how do we get there?

I believe we began by working toward building a team. A team that involves people from all three churches working together in various ways, utilizing the technology we currently have to the best of our ability, as well as our individual gifts. I know there are many cliches about being a team, but the most important one right now is there is No I in team. One way we keep the I out of team is keeping each other accountable building toward accomplishing the same goal.

One thing we have all heard from our DS has to do with laity stepping up to do the ministry that has typically been left for the pastor to do. This is not an indictment of any sort, I know all of you have busy lives. So what can we do to make this work most efficiently? I believe we think it will be harder than it really will be. For instance, visitation. While I would love to have time to drop in on everyone in all three churches weekly, this isn’t  a reality for anyone. So we find people that would like to become part of a hospitality team or visitation team or what ever name we decide for call it, that would be willing to visit the sick. By the way, this is already being done for many of the parishioners, as there are those who are their caring friends who make sure to visit. Or how about this idea. The leaders divide up the regular attendees of the church and if they are not there 2 Sundays in a row, they give them a short call Sunday after noon. It doesn’t need to be any longer than a commercial break during the Sunday afternoon football game. For many in the congregation these are the kinds of things anyone could do that wouldn’t take much intense training.

I know we don’t like meetings, that is why many churches have streamlined most of them into a covenant council type leadership committee. Yet there are many things that go undone in the mean time. So we will be considering more efficient ways of communicating. Some things can wait until next month, but there are some things that shouldn’t.

I am going to stop here for now. This is a lot to take in. feel free to offer your thoughts. If you want to email me personally that would be fine too, but if we are building a cohesive team eventually it might need to come out to the whole group.


Shalom Y’all


So, this is where we start?

So, now that we are 5 months into this “New Idea” for the river parish, which is about 1 pastor leading three congregations, where and how do we go from here.

Over the next few weeks I, Pastor George Barcus, will be thinking through some ideas of where I feel we need to go, as three congregations under one pastor. The thing about it though, is while I am “the Shepherd” that doesn’t mean I have all the answers. Creating a leadership team will help communicate the thoughts we are all having, as I hope the leaders who are given voice privileges in this blog will be contributors too.

My plan is to post something here on a regular basis, at least a couple times per week so we can keep each other accountable.

Shalom Y’all

Pastor George