Over the last few weeks, I had let some news that needed to be shared with our community kind of back up in my head.. that is, I kept thinking to myself, "Yeah- I need to put that on the forum, but..." and another day would go by.
So finally, I think, "I'm going to go ahead and start posting these things in bits and chunks." The items were mostly about being in the "elder process" with someone and asking the community to be in prayer about that, and then having a number of people step up to raise support and devote some hours to the community.
One of the people who has raised support will be working in areas that mostly take a lot off of my
plate, but aren't real critical issues, at least in the forefront of people's minds (I think contacting /assimilating new folks, giving some structure with our homegroups, refining the website and putting together are all very critical, but I have a feeling that the average evergreener wouldn't list any of those in a "mission critical" list- they're just too behind-the-scenes).
One of the other people is giving some real thought/time/effort in kid's ministries, something I have been pushing our community to do, but have been purposefully hands-off in. That area, however, many evergreeners would put at the very top of the list of areas that need more attention and help.
Guess which one I shared the news on first?
You know, until I was talking about it today, I couldn't even have told you why I told the community about these guys in the order I did... until it hit me- one was directly benefiting me, one only indirectly. And yet, the latter was filling a need that has been huge in the minds of evergreeners.
It wasn't a big deal, but I did need to backtrack a bit and explain that we weren't "staffing" other areas and neglecting kids (if we even want to call saying "okay!" when someone says "Can I raise support and give hours to the community?").
All that to say- I'm continuing to learn the lesson that even though I have the most broad view of just about anyone in this community of what is happening and what needs to happen, my perspective is still just that- mine. And others see things, care about things, desire things differently.
I think it's part of my job (no, I know it is) to understand where people are at, including what their priorities for our community are. Mine are part of the mix, but I need never to give the impression that they come first, you know?
I know this runs counter to the "Vision-Casting!" mode of Moses-down-from-the-mountain leadership in most church systems these days, but that's by intention. We're a community, not a corporation (and I'm not Moses(and neither are you!)), and I lead by influence, not top-down authority. One way to have (and protect) influence is to care about what others think in your community and work not just on your priorities, but on theirs as well...