Monday, November 26, 2007

Time for Dreaming

Beth Quick was speaking today about her weekly schedule as a pastor. At the end of her post, she says:

My weeks are pretty full and busy, but most of the things I work on are week-to-week needs. Writing a sermon, responding to pastoral care needs, taking part in committee meetings. Just doing the regular 'work' of the church takes up so much of my time. I feel strongly that we need to be thinking more long-term, need to be talking about vision, need to be looking past just maintaining things, but I find it hard to find the space to do that without leaving other responsibilities undone. How do you make space to think big? Is there room in the way we do church for discipleship? Real ministry?
I can relate to that, even though I am not a minister. So much of what all of us do in church -- whether we volunteer or are paid staff or are ordained -- is spent doing what must be done to make the church run. As a Nurture Chairman I felt that pressure -- spending time on the day to day and week to week of what needed to be done left little room for starting new ministries -- for the creativity needed in meetings to discern God's dreams.

How does a person find the time to dive into long term planning, dreams, new programming and ministry when one's time is absorbed by current ministry? How does a lay leader -- or any church leader -- lead volunteers to try new things when their time is filled with present and necessary ministry? How does a meeting chairman get committee members excited about possibilities when responsibilities are large and take up most the discussion time in a meeting? How does a person interest committee chairman in trying something new when what is already happening seems to be working -- not brilliantly, but at least adequately?



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