Something happened yesterday that may change the course of my life. And believe it or not, it happened at a church meeting.
I was at a Spiritual Guidance meeting (a group from our church that sets the tone for the congregation, does long-term visioning, encourages spiritual growth, etc) last night. We were discussing the ever so life-giving topic of membership and baptism and covenant renewal (I’ll spare you the details, as they are quite unimportant to the story).
In the middle of a life-giving conversation, our lead pastor looked around at the those of us under 35 and said, “Well, I don’t want to impose my way of things. I grew up a certain way, and I am learning that my way doesn’t always work with the realities that we face today.”
And then my heart stopped.
And I got scared.
Let’s back the boat up even more. I started being a pastor at age 22 at a church where people over 50 made all the decisions. The church had a history of being set in its ways and expecting people to conform to their worldview, and didn’t like people rocking the boat.
I, being a tad cocky and arrogant at times, loved rocking the boat. And rock the boat I did. I would challenge and push and prod people all the time, knowing that if I told them they should move a foot, they’d move an inch, and I would call that success. I could more or less say whatever I wanted, because I knew it would never happen.
Yesterday wasn’t dissimilar. I was on a tangent, passionately speaking about something or another.
But then, after our lead pastor made that comment, I realized something.
What I am saying might actually happen.
Holy Crap… Is that what I really want? If I want the church to move 12 inches, am I ready to stick my neck out? Do I know what I’m saying? Is it worth the conflict?
What I say actually matters. People actually listen to me. And might just follow (or not follow) me in a lot of ways.
And this changes everything.
No longer can I be the antagonistic bugger, knowing that most people will only move an inch.
I must lead a tad more carefully… Hopefully there isn’t too steep a learning curve.