Re-Imaginging Shenango Presbytery

A Theological Vision

The old ways of Presbyterian life together in Presbyteries are coming to an end. The old ways are coming to an end because churches are changing. And the old ways are coming to an end because Presbyteries themselves are changing.

Changes happened not so long ago in the 1950’s when Executive Presbyters became part of Presbytery organization. And the 20th C. corporate model of organizing church life worked well in those days.

But these are different days. And we need a new vision for a way of life together as Presbyterian Churches.

From the time we began work together, we have been guided by a trust that God was inviting us to “dream new dreams.” Thus we have not had small dreams about small changes to make the old ways work. Rather, driven by the vision of bearing witness to the “good news” of God’s grace in Jesus Christ in the 21st C. we have dared to share big dreams about our life together as churches in Christian community.

This big dream has been shaped by:

  • A belief in the connectional nature of the Church, in which different gifts are equally shared, building the Church up in faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 12 & 13)
  • A clear focus on the ministry and mission of Jesus Christ in congregations (Acts 1:8)
  • The need to encourage and resource pastors and church leaders for ministry and mission in the 21st C. (Romans 12)
  • A conviction to “streamline administration,” so to best use resources for ministry and mission (Acts 15)

A helpful metaphor for this big dream has been the organization of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Orpheus is a 25-30 member chamber orchestra without a conductor. Rather leadership is shared as the different musicians work together to interpret a piece of music. Organization is horizontal and fluid, rather than top-down and rigid. The practice of collaborative leadership values the gifts of others, creativity, and mutual responsibility. The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is a 21st C. model of leadership taught by the Harvard Business School.

Collaborative leadership, “flat and fluid,” creative;

That’s our “big dream” for our life together in the Presbytery of Shenango.

– Shenango Dream Team

Our Executive Team

  • The Moderator (elected)
  • The Vice Moderator (elected)
  • The Stated Clerk (elected)
  • The Director of Pastoral Support (part-time staff)
  • The Director of Congregational Support (part-time staff)
  • The Director of Presbytery Advancement (part-time staff)
  • The Director of Presbytery Operations (part-time staff)

The Executive Team is supported by four ministry teams and Presbytery support staff.

“Our Ministry Teams are living, growing, and renewing with people, while Shenango’s “institutional memory” is sitting on the Executive Team”

Shenango Dream Team

To Learn More About This Model, Contact the Shenango Dream Team

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