I hate church committee meetings as much as the next person. Which is weird, because I really love my job and a lot of what I do includes going to committee meetings. But I don’t hate most of the committee meetings that I currently attend. In fact, I’m usually pretty energized and interested in/by/from the committee meetings that I go to and I think it’s because most of the meetings that I attend these days feel like important meetings where STUFF GETS DONE.
I will spend ALL DAY in a meeting without complaint if we actually accomplish something!
But sitting through just ten extra minutes of a meeting re-hashing, re-worrying, re-negotiating, re-tabling, and re-talking-through-a-problem-without-actually-solving-it makes me crazy.
Church committee meetings can often go on for a very long time with very little action and then are repeated again the next month, and the next month, and the next, ad nauseam. Much of the time, when we get stuck in these ruts, it is often because we are afraid of moving forward. We don’t feel ready. We don’t know what we need. We don’t know what others will think. We’re uncertain about who will be happy and who will be angry with the decision. What if we fail? What will others think of us and our decision? What will we think of us and our decision?
So we meet, and discuss, and pray, and meet again next month.
But sometimes we just have to act.
Sometimes, we just have to BOLDLY FOLLOW JESUS.
After reading a brilliant blog post written for Storyline, by Shauna Niequist, about paddleboarding: http://storylineblog.com/2015/02/05/youre-never-going-to-be-fully-ready/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=facebook_page&utm_medium=Donald+Miller&utm_content=You%27re+Never+Going+to+Be+Fully+Ready
I thought about how brilliant and wise she was about life in general. And then I thought about how the same idea that she wrote about regarding learning to paddleboard applies to living a Christian life: “it’s the paddling that makes you stable, not the other way around. You’ll never stay up unless you start paddling.”
It’s the following Jesus that makes us disciples, not the other way around. You can’t figure it all out on your own first and make sense of it all before moving, you have to just start following. This is true for each of us as individuals, as well as all of us as the Church.
We have to move, try new things, stretch, and risk making mistakes in order to be faithful and Christian. We won’t know if the new preschool program will bring in new member families, but we do know that loving the little ones of our neighborhood is one of the things Jesus invites us to do. We don’t know if the new Stewardship committee will know exactly how to spend every dime we give to its fullest potential, but Jesus asks us to give until we feel it and some of the feelings might need to be trust and hope, not certainty and safety. We won’t know how upset one family will be if we convert the old archive room into office space for the local domestic abuse hotline. But we do know that boldly following Jesus means sometimes we may upset our family and friends, and we trust we’ll find our community again as we are living and being the Church together.
Friends, may you never attend another meeting that goes even just ten minutes longer that it needs to. May you boldly follow Jesus well before you feel ill from talking about it! Sometimes you just have to start following and trust that the rest will get worked out along the way.
Blessings for the Journey,
Brigit Stevens, Associate Conference Minister