The Detour of Dithering
I really like the above phrase penned by Ruth A. Fletcher in her book, Thrive: Spiritual Habits of Transforming Congregations. Have you ever found yourself in a place of "dithering?" If you have, then you know the tremendous amount of energy it takes to hesitate, falter, waver, vacillate, change your mind, be indecisive, be undecided. You are agitated (or someone else is) with your dithering. You become nervous because you may not make the correct decision. Yeah, if you have been in a state of dithering, you know all about this "heebie-jeebie" feeling! And if you haven't, but have gotten extremely agitated by someone who is the "poster child" for those suffering from the dithering "heebie-jeebies," then you know how painful the detours are when trying to come up with a decisive solution, answer, mission, or vision.
Congregations sometimes have a reputation of taking the "detour of dithering" when it comes to its future and how they will address it. As a result, anxiety, wavering, and vacillating, abound and soon everyone in the congregation is impacted by this lack of clarity and indecisiveness. In the case of Spring Creek, Terry White and others spoke about the dangers of "dithering" when it came to the future financial situation. In using an illustration by Merriam-Webster's dictionary to highlight this point, "We don't have time to dither."
And so the work began as we entered a new fiscal year to address those needs. Indeed, some serious questions will have to be answered. As well, it is not time to dither with where we want to be when a settled pastor arrives and the years following that. Many people, ministries, and meetings have already been happening to address our future. A group of people known as the "Church Profile Committee" has been busy not only beginning the work in preparation of the search process, but also looking for ways we can address what our future is, and where God is leading us into God's future for Spring Creek. Leadership has stepped forward in Jim Powers and Terry White in working on a visioning process that will most certainly help us to see the "image" of God's vision for us, but it also helps the Search Team to be able to use this information when they are ready to start interviewing candidates.
I know for some, this intentional process has seemed like dithering. Some would have hoped we could simply get on with finding a settled pastor as quickly as possible. And maybe you are one of those people who have suffered anxiety and a case of the "heebie-jeebies" from this transitional process, but trust me, it is wise not to rush it, nor is it wise to get out in front of God!
We will be concluding our sermon series, Thrive, this Sunday. We will look at the prophet Joel's words concerning visioning in a God way. Visioning is a God-thought, Holy Spirit working in us so that we may hit the target. In Fletcher's research, we see that the assurance of one's faith that God needs, and is involved in the vision of a church that it thrives in this transformation. It is about a congregation being willing to be transformed through its spiritual growth, commitment to God's vision, connectedness to God and other, and in its service with the love and grace of Jesus Christ to the world.
Paraphrasing Robert Frost: "I came upon two roads, and chose the one less traveled. And it made all the difference in the world." May it be so with us as we continue our work together.