Spent some time tonight working on music for the worship gathering this coming Sunday. Had a friend there working with me which ALWAYS makes any music related event more fun! We have recently made a couple of tiny changes to the way things are done on Sunday mornings. I like it. Oh, let’s be real. I LOVE it. Tiny steps but definitely in the right direction. And I have this dear friend coming along for the ride and she brought her guitar with her!
The sad part is not every one likes the changes and some are getting downright cranky. Maybe even mean. There are small changes going on in a couple of other places in the overall ministry as well. These same people aren’t real thrilled about those changes either.
This dear friend – the musical friend I mentioned earlier – looked at me tonight and said, “It’s not great that it’s happening but it’s great that I’m getting a taste of what it can be like. My hubby wants to be a pastor and this kind of stuff is just part of the package.”
She’s right – it’s not great. In fact, it’s downright sad. It doesn’t have to be like this. Each Pastor’s wife brings a unique blend of gifts and passions into the church where her husband serves. If those gifts and passions were embraced and she was free to put them to work where she felt led, imagine what might happen – new energy, new excitement, new ideas, hearts being touched . . . the possibilities are endless! Instead, some people have specific ideas of what the Pastor’s wife/kids should or should not do and to step outside those parameters is venturing into dangerous territory. Pastor’s families burn out in churches just as easily – maybe even more quickly! – than members of the clergy themselves. Maybe if they felt welcomed, included, and free to use their gifts, they could be a better support system for the man in the pulpit and help him through the rough times in ministry so that he doesn’t burn out as quickly or maybe even not at all.
Is there a chance she might want to try something new? Yep. Is it possible that she might want to change the way something is done? Yep. And none of that is inherently bad. Yes, a certain measure of tact and LOTS of conversation is needed before trying new things or making changes. But simply shooting her ideas down out of hand or getting angry if others support her ideas is not what the church is supposed to be about. Our focus is to be on sharing God’s love with others, not creating a country club atmosphere that caters to it’s most powerful or vocal members.
It’s just frustrating because it really DOESN’T have to be like this. But the good news is I have my friend and her encouragement. She is excited to be a part of the “new stuff” and her excitement is contagious even in the face of the crankiness. So we will take another step in the right direction and deal with fallout – if there is any – when it comes. It’s time to focus on the feedback from those who LIKE what is happening and just “keep serving.”
*Deep breath* I think I can do this.