In and around my church, committees and ministries have been meeting to find their agendas include the topic of nominations. It’s that time of year where we are looking to renew our leadership and invite those that have never considered leadership to take that bold step.
Like so many churches, my church has a huge slate to fill with 76 positions. It appears that this shouldn’t be a problem. We have 351 people on our rolls, but we see only 150 of those people each Sunday. I’m exaggerating a tad I fear. We might be closer to a weekly worship attendance of 125. I don’t focus on these numbers. Obviously. I don’t even know the actual average. Clearly, I don’t spend a whole lot of time fretting about them while the rest of Christendom seems to be crying that the sky is falling. I don’t think it is. Because, more and more, I find myself in conversations with people where I get to ask this question: where do you feel God leading right now?
It happened just yesterday. I had coffee with a newcomer to this Christian thing. She’s trying to figure out how things work and why we do things the way we do. She wants to know if every church functions like our church or if it’s just the particular personalities of our members. (There’s no judgment there. She’s just genuinely curious.) It’s all new and mysterious and wonderful. Earlier this year, she found herself serving on the Christian Education Ministry. And she has thrived. She is teaching Sunday School and revamping the children’s library and bouncing with hope and enthusiasm. It’s hard not to get excited just sitting across from her in a coffee shop.
Here’s the kicker. Our governance works in such a way that each ministry has a representative on the Council and there is no one currently serving in that representational role from the Christian Education Ministry. She wanted to know if she was crazy to consider it. What pastor would say no to that? I’d be a moron to say no — but I’m really not interested in filling positions. That’s not why I do this work. It’s not about the numbers but instead about the discipleship of each and every person taking a risk to live out their faith. So, I asked her that wonderful question: where do you feel God leading right now?
She hesitated to answer. And she’s right to hesitate. It’s a huge question. So, I told her this story of leadership. Because this is the story that was echoing through my head as she spoke. Like Samuel, she’s hearing a call. She’s feeling a pull. It’s not just the empty seat but the desire to use the energy and talent that she has to truly transform the world. There’s something about this big picture thinking that the Council does that captivates her. Maybe. Maybe. But, she’s not sure if that call is coming from God or some sense of obligation. So, I asked her to read this story again and again when she wakes up, before she goes to sleep and while she’s brushing her teeth to try to discern if this pull she’s feeling is really God. I told her I’d check in and see what she’s thinking in a few weeks — but today, I’m hoping that it’s not just this wonderful soul that is considering this risk. I hope that there are others that are praying with Samuel to see if God is leading them toward the risk of leadership. Maybe that’s true for you. Pray on it and let me know.