Monday, October 09, 2006

Faced With a Choice

I got a call today from a colleague in my Association.

I quickly remembered that she's the chair of the nominating committee. The reason for my remembering this is because my "name came up" in a discussion of who might be best to fill positions on the Association Council, sort of the uber-Consistory for the Association. It makes the big decisions and it sets the direction.

Guess why I was asked. Go ahead, guess.

Young. We want a young voice. One of these days I'm not going to be that young any more. Then what will people do?

I've had more questions lately about how much the wider church matters if it does anything other than support and encourage and equip local churches. It's my view that local churches are the ones doing real ministry and mission work. In fact, I've been tweaking an entry to this effect that I'll go ahead and post later in the week.

So here I sit turning over this position and am of two minds:

1. I'm already on a couple committees and groups at the Association level and, if I want to hold true to my view that the local church is where it really gets done, maybe I should say no. If I believe in the local church, I should focus my energy there. That, and Consistory is my least favorite meeting so why would I want to go to a second one every month?

2. They want my voice, they think I'd have something positive and needed to contribute especially in a season of change for our why not bring my viewpoint about the wider church's main purpose and help affect change in that direction, or at least keep it focused in that direction?

This could go either way. I have a couple days to prayerfully think it over and chat with a few Council members.

What would you do?


Jim Jannotti said...

Because you asked... I would steer clear (and your first reason is a perfectly good one).

In fact, that is just what I did when I was asked to be part of some Presbytery thing, and for the same reason too. That was back when I was young.

Anonymous said...

You should certainly hold to your convictions that the local church is most important, however...maybe the larger church is looking to you for help - a fresh voice, possibly a change in leadership within the association or conference. It is troublesome to hear they choose you because of age - young because they want to hear something new, old because of the experience brought to the table - but that's the way we are. Take the time to sort it out. Speak with your colleagues. Call the person on the nominating committee and ask why they want you. If it's just because of your age, turn them down.

Anonymous said...

I think it all depends how much of a burden you want to carry. Can you do both fully and faithfully?

Oh yeah... and pray on it a bit. :)

Anonymous said...

I think it's important to remember that even if the local church is primary, there are local churches who need protection and funding from the Association. The mainline is in trouble across the board because it has stopped funding campus ministries. One can do a lot of good just getting those local ministries funding and good staff.

Jeff Nelson said...

I don't think they just want me for my age, but it was listed as a reason nonetheless.

Chris, point taken re: campus ministries. When it comes time for budget cuts in church bodies, youth and young adults frequently get the shaft.

And then those church bodies lament a lack of younger constituents...including representatives on Association Councils.:)

Anonymous said...

I think you just talked yourself into it. :-)