My pastor recently approached me about becoming the Lay Leader for our church. Naturally, I told him that I would need to pray about it and talk it over with SWMBO, but here are my initial thoughts on the matter.
First things first - I'd be lying if I said this didn't scare the living bat crap out of me. Generally speaking, I'm not an up-in-front type of guy. If nothing else, I'm at least smart enough to know what my talents are not and significant group leadership falls into that camp.
My talents have always been in behind-the-scenes roles, where I'm perfectly comfortable/capable with leading a team of behind-the-scenes folks. But that's more task oriented leadership, as opposed to the open ended "OK, I'm the leader. Now what?" type of role that I now find before me.
And that presents the main stumbling point of this for me. If I take this on and it's a lousy fit, it's not me that feels the effects but the entire church. If I do this, I want to do it well and not just mark time and get by. I want to be used by God in the work of our church. Whether this is the way for that to happen or not is one of the questions before the panel today.
I'm also incredibly humbled by the prospect. After all, who am I? I'm just some guy knocking on the door of middle-age with hair that's starting to thin and a few extra pounds who's trying to align himself with God's will and usually doing a lousy job of it. I readily identify with Paul in doing the thing I don't want to and not doing the things I do want to. I feel horribly unqualified for such a position.
On the other side, however, is that I've had a deepening need to be more involved in the life of the church. And the thought keeps coming to me that my current involvement has been way too easy. It's convenient to use our distance (45 minute drive) from the church as an excuse to not join certain groups, serve of committees or not attend extra meetings. Could God be using this opportunity as a way to force me out of that comfort zone? Is this the kind of accountability that I need to spur me into further spiritual growth and a closer relationship with Him?
And to think that He can't use me in spite of my shortcomings is to minimize His omnipotence. There are numerous examples of God using people who didn't think they would/could/should be used at that time in their lives. ("Mr. Moses, pick up the nearest white Courtesy Phone - er - Bush.")
At present, I'm leaning toward accepting the position and asking Pastor James to re-evaluate these factors with me in a year. The main reasons are:
- In addition to those laid out above, there are some reasons for me to do it over someone else, most of which I can't go into here.
- Despite my earnest pleas, God hasn't shown me a good reason not to do it.
If you pray, I ask that you do so for me as I make this decision. I'll keep this updated as this process moves along.
Re: Responsibility? ME?!?
I'd go with the second. Knowing you, I think that you are a stand up front kind of guy. (see Big River) I think that it is easy to get caught in our comfort zone and not live up to our potentials. (ask me later about my current comfort zone issue.) Oh, I also think that this God's way of telling you to move closer to church. It doesn't hurt that you would be closer to us too. ;-)