Leslie Morris, our church's Lay Leader, spoke for just a moment on Sunday afternoon at the close of our Church Council meeting to hear and act on two very important purposes. The first of had been accomplished when Steve Sawyer and the Council voted approval to a very solid, balanced Ministry Budget for 2011. The budget included a great record of estimated offerings through pledges and contributions, which then allowed our church to allocate our proposed expenses across great ministries. It is a great thing to start the year with the confidence of such actions. The second dealt with nominations for leadership, and was only for information purposes.
Leslie's comments took only a minute. She passed out the list of Church Leadership for the upcoming year while noting the three remaining blanks that we are working on filling. We have since received one Yes, and are hopeful for two others who have been asked. But she made a statement that has left me thinking. She said, 'the pace of things in the church has picked up, and every leader needs to be ready for even more in the future.'
How true! After six months of good work by our leaders in getting our 'house' in order, the real work is just getting started. After weeks of number crunching, decision-making, and vote-taking by our leaders in Finance, the real work of a balanced budget starts on January 1 when we try to live into it. For all of the tireless work done by our Staff-Parish Relations committee around shaping our staff for great ministry, the next task is to not stop. Leadership in the church is on-going. Leaders do not stop. They rest, for sure. They seek sabbath, and recharge, but they get going again.
I think of Mary and Joseph in the days leading up to and just after the birth of a son in Bethlehem. For all of the effort it took to get to that place, the work had just begun. Getting to Christmas is eternally important - but it is not the end of the story, is it?
My desire for our church is to take some time, in these holidays, for rest and renewal. May our celebrations be grand, may our generosity be extravagant, may our worship be great. Then may we be ready for even more as we move forward. Grace and Peace, Scott