...of an amateur faith community leader.
I was listening to the Relevant Podcast yesterday toward the end of my jog. The editorial team of Relevant magazine was joking around about a story about the Loch Ness Monster. In the story, they reference the "amateur scientists" who had commented on some new footage of the legendary creature. What exactly *is* an amateur scientist, they were discussing. Shouldn't one have some sort of credibility if one is to claim to be a "scientist" of any sort?
My husband David and I "lead" a little ragamuffin group of passionate Christ followers called Revolution, and for the most part, I feel that way - that I'm an amateur minister. I wonder sometimes if it's not unlike being an amateur photographer who critiques Ansel Adams, or the amateur scientist who makes official commentary on footage of the Loch Ness Monster or the amateur astronomer who grants interviews about the declassification of Pluto as a planet. Sometimes I feel like a hobbyist...not in my heart, not in regard to my passion or seriousness but in regard to my ability or credibility. Even when I remind myself that we're not trying to build a community wherein people come to us for all of the answers, the weight of leadership is still often overwhelming.
When I think about things like this, it usually makes my head hurt in the same way it does when I think about time travel. What is a leader? What makes a leader? What on earth does it mean to lead a missional community anyway? What the hell *is* Missional? How am I qualified for this gig? Why in the world is ANYONE taking me seriously? I don't even take myself seriously. And getting paid for it? Pshaw!
A crisis of identity you say? Self depreciation you say? No, just some honest thoughts from someone flubbering through leadership and trying not to capsize too many ships along the way.
But I think, in a way, this sort of terrified reflection is what keeps me from becoming a top down leader who tries to do it all and be it all - - because I honestly cannot.
Through the Worm Hole
Embarking on something new, pushing through the wormhole to emerge in a new dimension (you amateur astronomers just keep your comments to yourself here *smirk*), requires a certain sort of dumb tenacity and a reliance on the great Divine. Sometimes I feel like the little chihuahua going nose to nose with a rottweiler - dumb tenacity. I see the swirling vortex of the wormhole and I don't know any better but to go in...it's so purdy! And then when I get in, I get so confused I just keep going forward.
All the while, I realize that I don't have a map or a compass and I've always been told what I'm doing isn't possible. So, with the dumb tenacity of the chihuahua, I keep going.
So maybe I'm not the sort of sexy leader that most people go to school to learn to be. Maybe we don't lead a sexy church that people from all over the state flock to every week. But I've got dumb tenacity damn-it and I'm not giving up now. Besides, if the Loch Ness Moster eats my truck someday, I'm gonna feel pretty silly for not believing the amateur scientists. ;)
** I know this isn't the sort of conversation starter that Jason likes to have but it's what's in me today :)