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2006-04-26 8:50 PM
down with committees, part II
More thoughts going through my head (see previous post for the beginning of this discussion):
There has to be a balance in the church between getting things done and cultivating community. Committee meetings, though sometimes tedious, also do provide a place for people to connect with one another. In other words, ministry is not just about efficiency, and the church is not a business; but nor should committee meetings turn into constant group therapy sessions. Senior pastor will often suggest potential committee members to me because she's worried about so-and-so because they aren't plugged in anywhere; I'd rather give that person a job and a small group than put them on a committee.
Also I am struggling with how to balance "casting a vision," going ahead with something exciting that people will want to participate in, and on the other hand, "equipping the saints" for ministry and encouraging collaborative efforts. In other words, I don't want to be a Pied Piper, but if I wait for everyone to come on board, we'll never get anywhere.
In terms of meeting "as needed," well when it comes to adult spiritual growth there is always stuff on our plate. One could justify monthly meetings without breaking a sweat, given the sheer amount of stuff going on. What I'm wondering about is doing away with adult spiritual growth committee altogether, and creating a series of task groups for short-term things, like the Lenten lecture series, the fall spiritual growth event, and the all-church retreat. People would work on a project for 6-9 months and be done, or re-up for the next iteration of the project if they felt so called. In some ways that feels like so much more work, because someone's gotta have a handle on all those little groups. But they have a lot more ownership in the process and feel like their gifts are really being used.
The only ongoing/non-"task" thing is Sunday School, and that's the main thing the committee works on now. We brainstorm classes, figure out who the potential teachers might be, etc. Maybe that group could continue to meet, BUT what excites me to think about is how to get that kind of feedback from the Sunday School participants themselves. Eliminate the middleman, in a sense. I'm thinking an evaluation tool at the end of every Sunday School quarter that would solicit feedback, suggest some future courses and get people's opinions, and also ask "who among your classmates do you feel have gifts for teaching ministry?" Etc.
Obviously I'd then need to meet with the spiritual growth elder and process all this feedback, but that just feels much more authentic than this group we have going now, stabbing in the dark about what might work.
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