As Rev. Sydney Kim plopped into her office chair and saw all of the theology and ministry books on her bookcases, she whispered, “none of these helped me at the meeting last night.”
Her head was still ringing with all of the key lines of last night’s passive-aggressive argument – also known as the church committee meeting:
- “I don’t think that it was as good as it could have been. My grand-daughter agrees with me.”
- “Why should we mess with it at all? Our long-term members actually love it the way that it is.”
- “Let’s get one of our youth to do it. We need to go for younger people, right?
To a stranger without context, it might have sounded like a crisis management meeting. But, it wasn’t.
- It was a meeting about the church website. Rev. Kim had been wanting to bring it up since before she was appointed there just three months ago.
On the one hand, she realized that this was a mistake.
- They were not ready to make decisions critical to the church’s future. She might have been too new to bring it up.
On the other hand, she learned the core leadership task at hand:
- Building committee decision-making skills, with the future in mind. The longest long-term members had the most difficult time with this.
Before any big decisions, the committee would have to have, at minimum, a shared awareness of:
- Societal, cultural, and local trends – based on data, not just something that they heard from someone that they knew
- Engaging in peaceful conflict – when it comes to disagreements or differences in preferences
- Creating new calling – because existing by and for the local church’s membership was not Christ’s aim in ministry
Now, 90 days in, Rev. Kim was wondering where she should start to get things going…