By-laws and Patience.

I had to set a boundary today.  The committee was just pushing on my nerves so hard I had to leave the room.  I said I would not yet again put red line and strike out through the entire by-laws like they didn’t like when we did it before.  They finally came around to my point of view after I left the room steaming.  I did not leave the building.  I sat on the couch in the foyer, considering my ministry.

This steams my cookies.  People who come in last moment with great suggestions yet refuse to be involved with the committee that’s been meeting for most of a year  to clarify the situation.  That toasts my cookies quite well.  I think I would have been more reasonable on another day.   Not  a good day for me over all.

I’m thinking can I be a minister with my high expectations?  I expect people to read and care about the rules they make for themselves.   I expect people to show up early in the process if they have a concern about it.   I expect people to try and have something that they do that speaks to their spirit or builds the community each week (outside of Sunday Service)  I expect people to read before commenting (or listen)

I don’t think it’s an attack on me personally, however, I have lost patience with useless badly formed suggestions late in the process that are not helpful.  If you care,  get on the committee, don’t show up once a year and expect all your situations that you just thought up a minute ago to be implemented because you communicated them to the right people…

So can I be a minister with this attitude?  Is it possible?  How can I communicate in such a way as to accept such comment gently?  I think you have an idea there, how would you feel about implementing that yourself.  I feel like I’ve put in massive effort here and don’t want to go in that direction, but if you have the energy to implement it.  Feel free!  I just cannot bear unergetically funded mandates.  Why doesn’t the “committee” just do double effort?  Are you part of this committee?  Can you double yours  first and we’ll see how that feels?

I thinks I needs a vacation.  Let’s hear it for summer when there are no by-laws meetings, no after church events, no choir even, let’s see how I do with an easier schedule for heaven’s sake!

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One Response to “By-laws and Patience.”

  1. Elz Says:

    Yup, we are all needing a vacation at this time of year.

    High expectations do and do not have a place in ministry. The goal of ministry, from what little I understand, is to guide and empower the committees to stand up for themselves and the work they have done.

    The one question to ask, when people come in late, is whether there had been adequate input opportunities all along. Were there open discussions early enough in the process? Did the minister make sure, through sermons, newsletter columns, conversation with parishioners, that everyone knew what was going on and when and where they should show up to do comment?

    The hardest part of being in a committee is that at some point, all you can do is pass along what you’ve written, recommended, decided, for vote at the congregational leadership level, whether Board or Annual Meeting.

    These are stray thoughts; best wishes for htat vacation.

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