Item description for Attentive to God: Spirituality in the Church Committee by Karen Marie Yust...
Overview Attending to the unique needs and missions of church committees, Yust proposes a theology of church committee work and explores ways to maintain a spiritual focus. Included are devotional resources for use in seven committees.
Publishers Description Church committees typically operate like business committees, with little or no attention to the spiritual aspects of their mission.In a book that is both inspiring and practical, Karen Marie Yust proposes a theology of church committee work and explores ways to maintain a spiritual focus in church committees. Included are devotional resources for use in specific committees such as worship, Christian education, and stewardship.
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Karen Marie Yust is associate professor of Christian Education at Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education. A prolific writer of books, articles, and scholarly papers, Yust's books include Real Kids, Real Faith: A Practice of Nurturing Children's Spiritual Lives (Jossey-Bass, 2004) and Attentive to God: Spirituality in the Church Committee (Chalice Press, 2001). She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with dual standing in the United Church of Christ. She has been certified as a specialist in Christian education by the United Church of Christ.
Karen Marie Yust currently resides in the state of Indiana. Karen Marie Yust has an academic affiliation as follows - Christian Theological Seminary.
Karen Marie Yust has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Attentive to God: Spirituality in the Church Committee?
Useful and insightful Nov 27, 2003
Whenever I start to plan a committee meeting at my church or chaplaincy, I always consult this book by Karen-Marie Yust, to see what she has to offer by way of making sure that God is present at the meetings. So many times, our 'religious' institutions concentrate on the mechanics and the agenda rather than examining and upholding the underlying principles that bring the community together.
In the first chapter, Yust looks at some 'traditional' models of committee meetings -- Robert's Rule of Order, debate and discussion such as a corporate model, and the family model of shared authority -- and how churches often use an uncomfortable hybrid of the two models, if not opting for one or the other entirely. Yust argues for inclusion of scriptural ideas and traditional practices of the church as part of the committee process, to keep a focus on intention and practical needs.
Yust develops a theology of committee work that takes into account discernment as a deliberate and intentional practice. Looking for God in what we do in and out of the church (and in each aspect of what we do) is vitally important. Similarly, the ideas of worship, prayer, scripture reading, and working for justice are highlighted as central to the theology of this task.
The majority of the book following this brief chapter highlight specific means to incorporate God into committee work in a worshipful, prayerful way. Yust looks systematically at the different types of committees a church might have:
-- Church Council/Executive Boards -- Christian Education Committees -- Mission, Outreach, and Social Action Committees -- Evangelism, Witness and Church Growth Committees -- Congregational Life and Parish Care Committees -- Stewardship, Finance and Property Committees -- Worship and Altar Committees
Obviously some churches will have different names for these groups, but the primary tasks of these groups are similar.
Within the context of each type of committee, different intentions can be formed. For example, an Executive Committee may be seeking wisdom to lead effectively, they may be attempted to establish by-laws, or they may be trying to resolve a church conflict. Stewardship committees may be faced with issues of raising funds for a building campaign or simply trying to keep the existing institution going. Yust presents prayer and scripture resources for these and other situations. One significant aspect of these resources Yust provides is that they are not chairperson-only or clergy-only things to do. The readings call for all to reflect, the prayers pull in the other participants, and the questions for consideration are designed to encourage conversation and joint ownership of the process. They also make sure that God is present -- before the budget is presented in a Stewardship committee meeting, for example, the participants will have their minds attuned a bit more toward looking for the holy and divine.
This is not a lengthy book -- fewer than 150 pages, divided into 10 chapters. Even the busiest clergyperson and committee leader should find time to read the relevant pages for the committee task at hand. This is a book more to be referenced as needed again and again than to be read and shelved.
Karen-Marie Yust is a professor of Christian education at my seminary, an educator and theologian of great ability, and a person with spiritual gifts in abundance. This book shares some of those gifts with the wider church, and the attentive church will be blessed.