Today, I took a booked a holiday from work and went to a classis meeting.
You may ask (all questions are good questions): What is a classis meeting anyway? Classis is one of the three levels of governance in our church denomination, the middle one in fact. The congregation is our base where local issues are dealt with using a framework provided by the top level which is called synod. Classis sits in the middle allowing for co-operation between churches in a geographic area, a place to make decisions on issues of a larger scope, and a way for a group of congregations to have some input into decisions on the denominational level. It’s more than that…this is likely the Reader’s Digest version. Classis meets 3 times per year.
As an elder in our church, I am eligible to be a delegate to a classis meeting. It’s been a while since I went, but, I was particularly interested in this one because part of the agenda was the examination of an individual who was seeking a license to preach in the classis. This would allow him to be endorsed by this body as a lay preacher with the local churches. I was interested in this because I some times think that I would/should/could look at being licensed in this way as well.
After watching the process, I’m not sure. It seems to be more onerous than I remembered. The examination included preaching a short message on an assigned text, and answering questions on “Bible and Theology” and “Practicum” (life and preaching) The gentlemen that was being examined passed with flying colours. If the questions were provided before the exam, and I think they may have been, I would have had no problem. If they were answered off the cuff, I may have been caught off side once or twice.
We’ll see what the rest of life brings. The process is slow. I would have had to have had my name in today to be examined in May. The next opportunity is September.
I can still fill in from time to time in my own church and apparently can be invited to other churches on a “buyer beware” basis. For now…that may be enough.