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Home » CHFWeb Forum » TitusTwo » Encouraging unity in a group of believers
Encouraging unity in a group of believers [message #819616] Mon, 06 March 2017 09:17 Go to next message
praise2christ  is currently offline praise2christ
Messages: 2108
Registered: August 2009
Location: Northern KY
Senior Member
A brief history: My kids and I go to a co-op every Wednesday. It consists of about 19 families. All of the moms profess to be believers. The co-op has been around for 28 years and has been successful at helping families succeed in homeschooling. We have had two leaders in the past. One is one of the co-founders who led for 18 years. She was succeeded by another woman who led for 9 years. This year we have a new leader, but she only has two years until her son graduates. I am currently on the board and in two years I have been asked to take over the leadership position. At that time, I'll have about 14 years left before Jack graduates, so this will be a long-term commitment. It is one I have prayed about a lot and I feel God is leading me to, so I have agreed.

This year has been a bit of a trying one. First, there was the change in leadership and adjusting to a very different style. Our old leader was very "type A" and wanted to be in control of all aspects. As a result, she didn't really prepare the new leader for all her responsibility. The new leader was thrown in the deep end and it has been a huge learning curve! Thankfully, she won't be doing that with me. I am going to be doing everything with her next year to help me prepare.

Then, the church we have met at for about 14 years got a new pastor and the man who was our contact person was laid off due to budget cuts. The new contact person wants us to have a large insurance policy that will cost a lot of money. This may force us to find a new location, which will be difficult.

In the midst of all this, I really feel that Satan is attacking our unity. There have been misunderstandings, miscommunications, and personality conflicts. Some members that were "kept in line" by the old leader are conflicting with the new one. Others are feeling the shock-waves of this without really understanding what is going on. As a board member and counselor to the leader, I have an "inside" view. I know there is wrong on both sides. But, the whole thing feels very much like a spiritual battle. This co-op has done so much good for so long and all these changes are the perfect opportunity for Satan to attack that good work.

So, my question is, do you have any advice for encouraging unity in the midst of this trying time? How do you see unity being encouraged within your churches or ladies groups? I love this group of ladies and really want us to succeed in this ministry!




Stacy, mom to 11-year-old boy/girl twins and a three-year-old boy.

"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger." Hans Christian Andersen
Re: Encouraging unity in a group of believers [message #819617 is a reply to message #819616 ] Mon, 06 March 2017 09:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa T.  is currently offline Lisa T.
Messages: 5290
Registered: April 2005
Location: New Hampshire
Senior Member
1. Start with prayer.

2. Do you have a mission statement or other documents regarding common goals, beliefs, etc.? Seems as if this would be a good time to dust those off, look them over, and revise if needed.

If such documents do not exist, spend some time creating them. Make sure there is a consensus regarding any written statements. Then, refer to them frequently in order to create common ground. Use them to help guide the group when there is conflict.

Consider whether you need bylaws as well...if you don't already.

3. Be sure to establish clear lines of communication that will work every time. Then use them!


Lisa T.
Re: Encouraging unity in a group of believers [message #819618 is a reply to message #819616 ] Mon, 06 March 2017 10:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rosemary-MI  is currently offline Rosemary-MI
Messages: 1309
Registered: April 2005
Location: Lower mid Michigan
Senior Member
I agree with Lisa. The group I was once in had an agreement you had to sign in order to participate. If we had a problem we would pull those out. Lifesaver sometimes.


I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!
Re: Encouraging unity in a group of believers [message #819621 is a reply to message #819616 ] Mon, 06 March 2017 12:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Genny  is currently offline Genny
Messages: 1
Registered: October 2005
Location: Ohio
Junior Member
When I saw this, I called a friend who led a coop for many years, which is no longer in existence. She told me that they had this insurance, but they had a heck of a time finding it so it was affordable. She told me about an agency near us who found them an insurance company that was affordable and easy to work with. She couldn't remember the name, but she has it at home and will call me tonight with it, then I will let you know. Even though we are probably in different states, they may be able to work with you.
Re: Encouraging unity in a group of believers [message #819622 is a reply to message #819616 ] Mon, 06 March 2017 12:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
Messages: 14896
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member

Two things...First, the insurance policy. That's probably going to be required no matter where you go. The law is hurting a lot of small groups like yours, but should anything happen, it will be a huge protection for you, your members and the church. We had a group that met in a church that was able to get a rider that protected families for $10 each, but even that became unavailable after a time. Do your research before moving...it's likely that the new guy came in and just realized, "Oh no! They aren't complying with the law and we're opening ourselves up for tremendous liability and lawsuits!" and is just trying to fix it.

The rest...I think with as few families as you have, I might just be up front about unity issues. As stated above, start with prayer. Lots of it!!

Do you have a leadership committee or board of any sort, or just the individual leader? I re-read. I see you have a board. I'd get the board together to meet and see if you all agree on the problems and what the solutions might be. It might be time to come up with some by-laws or something so that folks will know what to expect. After you get a general idea of what you're looking at, decide whether to include the general membership in discussions of unity.

If you can see what the misunderstandings and miscommunications are, and how to fix them, begin there. If you see it, but there's still disagreement, you'll have to work through what the policy will be.

in a group I was a part of for so long, many of our policies came about because of just such things. The larger the group got, the more formal the policies needed to be, we found.

Oh...and begin with the board in terms of wrongdoing. Make sure the board is praying together and if there's wrong to be confessed, start with yourselves! Often that is all it takes for "revival" to start in the group, and for things to begin being set right.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Encouraging unity in a group of believers [message #819639 is a reply to message #819622 ] Fri, 10 March 2017 10:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
praise2christ  is currently offline praise2christ
Messages: 2108
Registered: August 2009
Location: Northern KY
Senior Member
Lisa R. wrote on Mon, 06 March 2017 12:09

Two things...First, the insurance policy. That's probably going to be required no matter where you go. The law is hurting a lot of small groups like yours, but should anything happen, it will be a huge protection for you, your members and the church. We had a group that met in a church that was able to get a rider that protected families for $10 each, but even that became unavailable after a time. Do your research before moving...it's likely that the new guy came in and just realized, "Oh no! They aren't complying with the law and we're opening ourselves up for tremendous liability and lawsuits!" and is just trying to fix it.



We're still working through all this insurance stuff. We are on hold waiting for the church to tell us exactly what they will require. Unfortunately, the example they gave us when we first talked would end up costing us hundreds of dollars - something we just could not afford. We asked about a rider to their policy that we would pay for, but that wasn't possible.

We do understand the reasons. But, if it ends up costing several hundred dollars, we just will not be able to afford to stay. We do know that we might not be able to find somewhere else without the running into the same issue. However, if we don't have the money, we just don't have the money. Sad It is something we are praying about!

Today, we have a board meeting to create ballots that will be used for the co-op to decide what classes we will have next year. Please, pray for us. I will be bringing up some of the issues and speaking to the need for clarity.


Stacy, mom to 11-year-old boy/girl twins and a three-year-old boy.

"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger." Hans Christian Andersen
Re: Encouraging unity in a group of believers [message #819640 is a reply to message #819639 ] Fri, 10 March 2017 10:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
Messages: 9557
Registered: April 2005
Location: Small Town New Hampshire
Senior Member
There are coops near us that charge money per class and others that do not...you can change the structure of the coop to cover the insurance...do you currently give money to the church for electricity and wear and tear, for example?

[Updated on: Fri, 10 March 2017 10:32]


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Encouraging unity in a group of believers [message #819641 is a reply to message #819639 ] Fri, 10 March 2017 12:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
Messages: 14896
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member

praise2christ wrote on Fri, 10 March 2017 10:07

But, if it ends up costing several hundred dollars, we just will not be able to afford to stay. We do know that we might not be able to find somewhere else without the running into the same issue. However, if we don't have the money, we just don't have the money. Sad It is something we are praying about!




A $200 insurance policy would be ~$10 per family. A $1000 insurance policy would be about $50 per family.

I know our family was okay absorbing an extra $10 per year for our band program. An extra $50 per year would have been more difficult, for sure. But with a little notice, perhaps folks could save...that's only $4/month per family.

I don't know if that helps, but sometimes a lump sum sounds impossible and undoable...but when broken down, it seems more manageable, so I just tossed it out there.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Encouraging unity in a group of believers [message #819642 is a reply to message #819616 ] Fri, 10 March 2017 13:22 Go to previous message
Lisa T.  is currently offline Lisa T.
Messages: 5290
Registered: April 2005
Location: New Hampshire
Senior Member
I was a member of a cooperative preschool, and we ran fundraisers to cover some of our costs. A good bake sale or garage sale in the right location can easily bring in a few hundred dollars.


Lisa T.
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