New Year’s Resolution: I Will Not Make Church About Me

[Note:  I'm not great at keeping resolutions solo, so my hope is that we - as spiritual communities  - might be able to keep them together.  Holding each other accountable is an essential feature of a healthy church.]

Church is resolution1not about us.  It’s not about me.  It’s not about you.  Here is a little self-exam for both clergy and non-clergy alike as we try to change attitudes and church culture in 2014:

1. Now that Advent’s over, there’s a team charged with replacing old church Advent and Christmas decorations.  You donated the star that’s been on top of the tree for as long as anyone can remember.  You are:

A) Quietly upset that people would disrespect your generous donation by getting rid of “your star.”  That star came from your grandmother.

B) Telling anyone who will listen The Story of Your Star and how it came from Macy’s in the 1940s.

C) Unconcerned about the star.  (The truth is that you gave it to the church because you didn’t need it but didn’t want to throw it out.)

2.  The Worship Team wants more participation during Sunday worship.  As the “Worship Coordinator” you feel:

A) Threatened that – apparently – they don’t like how you’ve been leading worship.

B) Dread at the thought of having to work with others on worship every week.  It’s so much easier to do it yourself.  Are those volunteers even professionally trained?

C) Thrilled at the thought of equipping others to read scripture, pray prayers, offer liturgical arts, and preach.  The church will be so much better off after you move on in a few years.

3.  You are the (popular) former Pastor, former Choir Director, former Board Chair, former Youth Director. (Take your pick.)  You’ve retired or moved on, and you are no longer part of the church except in an honorary, historical way.  But when the congregation’s 75th anniversary comes up, you assume you will have an essential role in the celebration.  You:

A) Contact current key leaders informing them, quietly, that you will be happy to take a role in the festivities.

B) Call the current person in your previous position and invite yourself to assist him/her.

C) Attend if you are invited and thank everyone for a lovely time.

I confess that I offer this little quiz selfishly – as if it’s all about me – because when church people remember that it’s not about us, it makes my own job a bit easier.  So I’m sorry about that.

But if we truly love our congregations and want them to thrive so that it looks on earth as it is in heaven, we will let go of our personal preferences, tastes, and need for attention.  Let’s resolve to be ecclesiastically healthier in 2014.

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One response to “New Year’s Resolution: I Will Not Make Church About Me

  1. Pingback: Ask the Matriarch: Prayers for the New Year | RevGalBlogPals

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