Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sleepless As I Reassess My Strengths and Weaknesses

Insomniac's Blessing

I am sort of an odd ball when it comes to human relationships. My wife is very forgiving of my oddities, and for that I am exceptionally thankful. However, not everyone is as forgiving as my blessed wife and children. So I have to really watch myself at work and church to not disenfranchise people with my matter of fact assessments and challenges to their way of thinking. Thinking through how to continue to communicate on a deeper level and not disenfranchise people has been something that I have been rethinking quite a bit. It kept me up a lot of Friday night. Two things set me off on this anxious, sleepless thought. The first was I was asked to help to reform some of the organizational aspects of a ministry. The thing that struck me what that I could get into a lot of conflict over this. I feel quite a bit of rejection from people in general, so further disenfranchising people sounds painful. I am trying to build bridges that I have torn down in the past and further distancing myself from people does not sound appetizing. The second thing that gave me a sleepless night was being forced to bring order to our small group the other night. It really was not a big deal, but I do not wish to be seen as the heavy handed one who calls people to order all the time. I don't think I am in a popularity contest, but I don't like to be lonely either. I was the rule enforcer at work and at church for a while. I seem to do well at this role in my family, perhaps my kids will tell me later that it was unbearable, but it did not work for me in other groupings than my family. This sort of surprises me since in the past, I thought my leadership in my biological family was preparing me for leadership in God's family. The only thing is our churches are organized as businesses, not families.

Thinking It Through

My way of solving this issue is I think I need to be extraordinarily intentional when it comes to enforcing rules. I need to not be overly focused on me being the person who solves all the problems and confronts all those who are off doing their own thing instead of thinking of others. Realize that there is a difference between being a member of the church universal and the American organizational form of the church which I see more and more as an institution that brings business models into the church. The organizational models I see in Scripture are those of Shepherd with sheep. The shepherds of the ancient Middle East did not use fences as the primary means organizing the sheep but constant, personal care. I think our business model in the church is to use organizational charts and dictate policy. I believe neither of these is shepherding. For myself, I need to focus on shepherding as the model, not CEO. I definitely I don't want to be the hatchet man for somebody else either. I think that job is beyond my limitation.

"A man's got to know his limitations." --Quote from Dirty Harry
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