Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Making a Decision NOT to Complain

On Saturday I attended a meeting to hear about the new structure of our annual conference of the United Methodist Church. I was there because I was asked to be on one of the newly formed teams. We have a very complex structure in order to serve a very large geographical area with people who have a wide range of ideas of what our annual conference should be doing.

I have to make a decision about continuing to be on that team. I have a decision to make, but before I can make that decision I have to ask myself, what I ultimately believe about my role on the annual conference level and what I believe my contribution should be at that level. Do I believe that since I am the lead pastor of one of the largest churches in our annual conference that I have a responsibility to be on the team? Do I believe that since my number one spiritual gift is leadership that I should be on the team? Do I believe that at this time the things that are going on at Charter Oak Church are too time consuming for me to join the team?

These are some of the questions I am wrestling with as I listen to God's prompting about my role on the conference level. To be honest, I think that in this "flux" time, my natural tendency is to complain about the situation instead of rigorously working through what I believe about this arena of my life before making a decision. I recently read a blog post by Ben Arment about complaining. Here are the points he makes...

The opposite of complaining is leading...

  • If you don't like a decision your boss makes, lead up.
  • If you don't like your office culture, lead around you.
  • If you don't like your circumstances, lead through it.
  • If you don't like your church's short-comings, lead out.

I know that I am to be leading. I don't want to be a part of the problem, I want to be a part of the solution. Complaining never gets to the solution, it just dwells on the problem.

I still don't know what I am going to do about being on the conference team, but I do know that I am making a decision not to complain, because ultimately I believe that complaining in not leading and I am called by God to lead to the zenith of my potential and so are you.