Friday, March 28, 2008

The Last 100 Days or So

One of the chapter titles from my unwritten book, Lessons from the Farm, is entitled "Save the Short Rows till Last". Without going into great explanation, the point of the proverb is that you should do the hardest part of the job first. In many ways, this is how intentional interim ministry goes. The first congregational task, Coming to Terms with History, is difficult and lays the foundation for all the rest of the work. I have found this to be true in Bessemer City.

But that does not mean that everything is "smooth sailing" or "a piece of cake" during the rest of the intentional interim process. Even the current task that the Transition Team is working on has been intense. As the team has examined leadership and decision making concerns they have come to realize that necessary changes are not easy. The team will be presenting four recommendations to the church conference next month that will impact the election process of the local church board of administration. I will post these four recommendations next week after they have been presented to the congregation.

The team will also be developing job descriptions for some committees and volunteer positions in the church that currently have none. In the absence of clearly defined duties and boundaries "turf wars" can develop even in the church. I expect these job descriptions will be a real challenge to the team.

So the last 100 days or so of my time in Bessemer City promises to continue to be intense as I work with the transition team and as we also address at least two other congregational "hot buttons" over the next two months.
1) The purchase of a bus.
2) The plans for the building of future facilities.
Neither of these matters will be brought to conclusion before my departure. But my goal is that the major decisions about the direction of these matters will be settled prior to the arrival of the next pastor. If so, these will be two presents that I can give to him or her.

On a personal note - my wife and I signed all the papers yesterday to close on a house purchase. Our new home will be in Archdale, NC (just east of the High Point city limits). We are taking a step of faith that God will provide the opportunity for us to serve a church within commuting distance of Archdale as their Intentional Interim Pastor. Please join with us in prayer for God's will and way to become clear. Unlike Abraham, I know where I am going. But like Abraham, I am not sure what I will be doing when I get there.

No comments: