My week has been interesting and in it I got a renewed appreciation for the Church as the Body of Christ. Wednesday is “Simple Gifts” Day, the day I round up the precious and motley crew to paint lighthouses on rocks. This week Ed took off to Newfoundland with the words “You’re in charge”, ringing in my ears (or probably more accurately in my good ear). Driving the van I felt competent. Getting the paints out and everyone in smocks (am I the only one who finds that word hilarious?) I still felt pretty capable. I led a devotional and felt good about that…. but then came time to paint. It was a disaster! Thank goodness we were all aware that we were a gathering of broken people. Everyone was so gracious and we had a lot of laughter, all of which made it a successful time but the art was entirely artless without Ed. A few weeks ago Ed complimented my artistic work by suggesting I mixed a really nice brown (that is straining the gift of encouragement to the snapping point). Making a nice cup of tea for Gillian lent me back a scrap of competence but we will all be grateful to have Ed back next week. By the way if you scroll down a bit you will see an example of the art produced by Simple Gifts.
Thursday I was speaking to a group of pastors, as we hosted the ministerial here at the college. It was wonderful to get in front of a group again with a dry erase marker in my hand. I was teaching again and I was in my area of competence! A regular follower of this blog will know I do a lot of reading and it was a tremendous release to share some of my reflections on it all. I spoke about how pastors can be leaders in a movement. I spoke of their need to listen to a wide variety of voices and to engage in egalitarian leadership (not lording it over them like the gentiles). It was good to be talking about issues I am passionate about and the group listened very respectfully and we had some really good dialogue. Some talked to me afterwards asking if we could explore this further. We are arranging time at my favourite St. Arbucks.
One day I felt the absence and the next I felt fulfilled. It was a great reminder that we need each other and the diversity we bring. It reminded me that I must not be absent either! I felt an encouragement to continue developing my workshop/conversation on ‘developing a missional congregation’ as a means of becoming a missional church. The concept is to start small with a group of the willing. This small group given proper attention and celebrated properly can become a small ‘rudder’ which can turn the direction of the bigger entity. I will be looking for venues to practise this presentation. If you’re interested in facilitating something in your area, let me know.