the story so far

At the conference for Ministers of larger churches I am checking in on whatCheck list I wrote yesterday during some free time.

  1. yes
  2. yes
  3. yes
  4. can’t answer this until I get home.

That’s still a pretty good ratio of success on my hopes, dreams and ambitions for the conference and we are only half way through! I am hoping and praying for more of 1-3 and a definite yes on 4 when I make it home.

How are you doing on your week’s ambitions / plans?

One of the things we have been considering is how there are different dynamics at work in larger churches and how we can work with those in o order to provide servant leadership while at the same time not undermining the belief that God speaks to us through anyone and everyone. No clear answers yet but some interesting contributions that I am seeking to filter and discern.

Also a very telling phrase has been quoted several times when it comes to churches (and other organisations): “Culture eats vision for breakfast!” In other words, if the prevailing culture of an organisation does not change it is almost impossible to change anything significant in a lasting way. The example was given of a (fictional) company that was seeking to adapt to the new economic conditions and offered employees a set of changes to working practices that would guarantee the future of the company and its employees and might even give them increased wages. But because the proposals would mean changes to the normal routines of the employees they reject them. Their culture is still focused on what they like to do now, not on the possibilities of the future.

It has made me consider what my personal prevailing culture is and whether that gets in the way of God implementing his vision for me, my family and the church. BIG questions! What’s your culture like?

A big-time negotiator was out fishing one day when he caught a strange looking fish. He reeled the fish in, unhooked it, and threw it on the ground next to him. The fish started writhing in agony and, to the negotiator’s surprise, said, “Please throw me back into the lake and I’ll grant you three wishes.”

“Any three wishes, huh?” the negotiator mused as visions of expensive fast cars and beautiful women paraded through his head. “Fish,” he finally exclaimed, “Give me five wishes and I’ll throw you back.”

“Sorry,” the fish answered while struggling for breath, “only three wishes.”

The negotiator’s pride was at stake and after giving the matter some thought he announced, “What do you take me for? A sucker? I’ll settle for four wishes.”

“Only three,” the fish murmured weakly.

Fuming, the man debated the pros and cons of accepting the three wishes or continuing to bargain for that one extra wish. Finally, the negotiator decided it wasn’t worth looking a gift fish in the mouth and said “All right fish, you win, three wishes.”

Unfortunately, by then the fish was dead.

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