I try to read widely and have a number of ideas and information come into my newsfeed every day. Seth Godin is one such person I read because he’s got interesting ideas that spark new ideas in my mind about where we are going as the Church today.
What is most needed for our Presbytery and our larger Church today?
Institutions and institutional life if off-putting to most people in our world. And yet there are real benefits to institutional life–in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) we reap the benefits of the Board of Pensions, or the Foundation, the General Assembly and our seminaries. On the smaller scale, here in the Presbytery we reap the benefits of a COM and Board of Trustees who walk alongside congregations and specialized ministries, a CPM that is training our next generation of leaders, the friendships that we share that sustain ministry.
But as we all know, the more difficult side of institutions is that they can tend toward over-control that can at time stifle creativity or create distrust. Everyone has one of those stories!
But what would it mean to create a resilient Presbytery and to let go of the negative sides of control as much as possible? No matter what we do in transitional planning, no matter what structure we put in place – we still cannot predict the future. We cannot control it. Only God knows what that will be. And at the end of the day only God is in control.
I think about the ministry of Jesus. He took the role of a teacher and a role-model for the disciples. He took the role of encourager, healer and advocate for beleaguered communities. He did not try to control but rather pointed every time to God and not to himself. He told the disciples many times to stay quiet about what they were seeing him do. He led without attachment to ego – because he wanted to point to the love of God which is bigger than everything else.
I believe that our model of ministry in Jesus is primarily a model of resilience and not control. What can you do in your ministry and life as a follower of Jesus to create resilient community that will thrive and multiply ministry whatever storms or sunny days might come? And how can we build that for our Presbytery so that we can support the ministry that we have been called together by God to share?