COVID forced our clergy convocation online again this year. I do miss gathering with my colleagues. As a United Methodist pastor myself, these other pastors are my church. They are the people I see year in and year out as we serve our conference together.
I’ve known many of them since before I became a pastor.
I value worshiping and learning with them.
This year’s convocation centered on Susan Beaumont’s book titled How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going. This is an affirming book for me.
Although I didn’t appreciate having to sit through another online meeting, especially one that lasted several hours on two different day, Beaumont’s presentation was helpful.
It’s about learning to lead the church through uncertain times. That sounds too cliche. There’s more to it than that, but I hadn’t planned to unpack everything here.
One point she brought up today was Robert’s Rules of Order. She didn’t address it as an overarching theme; I don’t know if it’s in her book. Her comment was something about why church leadership holds on so tightly to Robert’s Rules.
I recall my first administrative council meeting at a church. Ever since that day, I’ve wondered why we’re married to that discernment process like we are. To me, there’s less discernment happening and more politics at play. There are other forms of discernment. I’m not suggesting we read entrails again. And I don’t mean to say we shouldn’t use Robert’s Rules at all.
But we are better suited at changing the world with the way of Christ, not Robert.
I was looking for a particular local Christian radio station. Since I was introduced to the station and hadn’t heard it myself, I wanted to listen in for a bit.
After a few searches, I found it online. There was a “click to listen” function.
The button didn’t work.
Well, not at first.
It was about 9pm when I first found the station on my phone. The button didn’t seem to work. So, I left it alone, and forgot about it soon thereafter.
I remembered it at 3am. That’s when a loud voice blared from my phone.
I don’t know what the issue was. Was it something on my end? Who knows?
But it did remind of one of the church’s reputation.
Ever hear how we’re pretty slow to catch up to everybody else? We let trends fly by us. By the time we’re willing to spend money on new technology, we’re a few models behind.
Even a lot of churches who boast of their contemporary music are behind. Their “contemporary” music is 20 years old.
We even let current issues escape attention.
Walking the line of new and old can be tricky. We needn’t jump on every ministry bandwagon. Not every issue a kingdom issue. But we need to be mindful of the new ways to reach the world. We can’t ignore the pains and questions of the world around us.