Nope. This is not a joke. Call it a board, elders, vestry … whatever you will – they all sound just as formal and terrifying. We call ours Nehemiah even though it is technically called “the vestry”, which just makes me want to shy away because of the sound of it. Basically, these are people who are designated as decision makers for some pretty big things around the church. Each group has a unique function depending on the church it is for. Nehemiah is all about the building, furnishings and finance. We have a nice holy number of us – 12 members. Yikes! But the great thing is that they are pretty incredible people so I want to take a moment to give credit where credit is due and let the world know what makes them so great.
1. They don’t take themselves too seriously. When you are dealing with heavy topics and differences of opinion in the group this is beyond helpful! Somehow we manage to keep our eyes on the real issues without digging into pits of personal misery. There is even a bit of laughter now and again.
2. They know what they are there for. There is nothing like a group of people trying to discuss things that are really not theirs to discuss. Vision – that doesn’t belong to us. HR – that doesn’t belong to us. But we are responsible to make decisions about the building and finances in such a way that will enable a 5 year vision to become reality.
3. They get things done. From painting a new balcony railing to calling up the bank to getting quotes. This group gets things done rather than thinking they should just sit around making decisions while other people do the grunt work. They tackle issues that require creative problem-solving and then find the best resources to make it happen.
4. They love God and they love the church. Arguably, more than their own agendas. The people who come to church matter. The people in the community around the church matter. God matters. They don’t play theologians or philosophers with split identities between the ideal Christian church and the one that they are standing in. Faith is real to them and they are committed to letting God do what he likes in them, including break their hearts for the city.
Let’s leave it at four great qualities. I think they are pretty sound. Why am I writing all of this? It’s because they nominated me as their Chairperson and I was shaking in my boots. But it’s not so bad when you have a great team.