I will often joke that the unrecorded 11th Commandment was: “Thou shalt not committee” but I have found in my time as a priest responsible for the running of Parish Council meetings, that those who are elected &/or appointed to this important role are generally worth spending time with, have interesting thoughts & observations & are people of deep faith & high levels of commitment. Not every member is able to come to every meeting, but they each find ways of adding value to our church in times outside of the meetings.
We had one of our monthly meetings this week. About a week before, Andrea, our Business Manager & Treasurer, asked me, “What do you want to talk about at PC?” We do have the normal regular business of PC to take care of but I do like to make space to talk about some of the bigger picture issues & make use of our collective brains-trust.
This month there were 2 big picture things. Firstly, we are a growing church & growing churches have problems. One that has been emerging is the development of a “them & us” mentality between our different congregations.
There is a perception that exists, that one congregation gets preferential treatment. I assured PC & I can assure you that this is not the case. The 2 Sunday congregations are becoming increasingly different but that is drawing different people & more of them! Each has unique needs which we work hard to address. There is no favourite child! I thank God for the diversity & I look forward to the time when we add a new child, another congregation, to our community.
To explore these issues we spent time looking at the “7 Things Every Growing Church Struggles With” with help from an article by Carey Nieuwhof. Those 7 things are:
- The Senior Minister being less available
- The Senior Minister not doing everything
- Not knowing everyone’s name
- Shifting from leading people to leading leaders
- Adding systems
- Saying no
- Dealing with critics
We were able to identify each of these as things we struggled with & talked through ways of equipping ourselves to meet these issues. It is very much a work in progress but I know PC is committed to overcoming these problems & building a strong, diverse, growing church community.
The second big picture issue we talked about was Missions. PC is committed to growing the profile of our existing mission partners: Anglican Board of Mission, Bush Church Aid, & St John’s Crisis Centre (formerly SPACC). It is also excited that our children are leading the way with a new connection to Rescue Mission & that we are growing our own mission focus which we are calling “Living Trinity”. PC moved that the mission target for this year be 10% of last year’s parishioner giving. It’s a big jump from last year but we are believing that we can embrace this challenge.
Please pray for PC & know that they are more than just pretty faces on a poster & happy to chat at any time about pretty much anything!