"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Friday, September 3, 2010

What is it about “church” that makes us feel we are supposed to have a say in everything that happens there? I am not passing judgment on whether it is right or wrong, just asking the question. Do we do that at work? With our school boards? The other night at a meeting someone asked what I thought about my own church deciding to continue with one service and not announcing or discussing it a congregational meeting first. My own questions somewhat along some of those lines have been brewing for awhile. I answered- you know, sometimes “they” just need to decide and tell us what we are going to do. You will never get everyone to agree on what to do. Which, she kinda had to agree with.

If you think about your school board-they discuss, research, and make a lot of decisions. They will have meetings for “input”, but quite frankly, by that point the issue is already decided, it is more just informational. The school board will close the meetings for personnel issues and other sensitive matters that are just really not all that appropriate for the general public to know and be a part of. If they hire a new teacher do we get a say? Do we get a say in the superintendent position? And if a higher up in the school resigns, there are often contractual clauses that say neither he nor the school board can discuss it.
What about at your workplace, especially if you work for a larger company? Does your boss consult and get your opinion on everything, much less do what you want? He does with his senior staff in all likelihood. But for the most part, no-he will say this is what we are thinking (and have been researching) of doing, and then will tell you how it will work for your position, or whatever.

Somehow, when it comes to church matters, we think we should be heard on every matter and every decision WE see as “major” that comes up. What is major? To you, to me? Is it because we feel so much more invested there than at work? At school? Why? Why do we have this sense of ownership? Should we? Why there and not other places? Does that sense of ownership change the larger a church gets? Should it? How do we decide what everyone should be involved in, or just the lay leaders, or just the staff, or just the elders? Essentially a church body will have a constitution that deals with major issues that have to be agreed on by the body (constitutional changes, a head pastor), but other issues are not addressed (other staff positions, specific line items of the budget, the day to day happenings, even the vision and direction of the church). Obviously any smart church leadership team will not make a decision or change lightly. They will seek God, they will pray, they will research, they will discuss. So what do the members of the body do? How do we wrestle with the fact that at no time will everyone be happy with every decision that is made? Then where do you go from there? How do you transition as a church gets larger? How do you TRUST your leadership to lead your body? What if you don’t? What does all this practically look like? Because it seems we all know what we SHOULD say-so how do we walk that out?

No comments: