Monday, December 18, 2006

Committee Jigsaw Missing Pieces

I rashly stated at our November Session meeting that I planned to announce at our December Session meeting the names of those folks who had agreed to chair various Comittees at our church for the next year.

Turns out, this is a more complicated puzzle than I'd imagined it would be. After four weeks of consulting, conversing, and cajoling, I still have some Big Holes. There are the folks who would do a great job but have said "No" because they are too busy. There are the folks who are eager to chair a very particular committee that they have had their eye on but who are manifestly unsuited to do so, and then there are the folks who are open to going wherever you need them, but who you don't really know well enough to foresee if they would be a Huge Success or a Total Disaster.

I'm ready to put Committee names in a hat and force everyone to draw one. Any wisdom from those of you who've put this puzzle together successfully??


cheesehead said... you get some good feedback on how to do this, let me know. I'm facing the same thing, only with lots fewer names available to put in a slightly smaller hat.

cheesehead said...

See, this is how FUBAR my day is. I thought you were taking about pulling names from the hat, not comittee assignments. (Sometimes it's the second reading that is a charm.) I've got lots of committee assigments, too few names, and I don't even wear hats.

(I'll be moseying along now...)

Gord said...

THis might be a silly question (me not being Presbyterian and all) but why is this your job?? Shouldn't the Session be taking responsibility for it?

It seems that if you annnounce the chairs then if anyone committee crashes then it is easier to blame you for naming the chair rather than anything the committee did/did not do. OR if you fail to find a suitable candidate then whose fault is it that the committee is left chairless?

Anonymous said...

An all too common problem I fear.

Spiritual gifts may be the answer . . . not in the short run, but in the long run . . . helping people, espcially the spiritual leaders (the Session) of the church discern how God has gifted them to serve.

An example . . . I was called to a smaller membership church 18 months ago. One of the first things I did I began teaching, preaching and talking about spiritual gifts.

It was obvious to me that alot of the inertia was because the church was operated from a "warm body" mentality . . . if there is a vacancy any warm body will do.

As I got to know people, alot actually through observation, I began to realize why some people seemed to be so inert . . . they were not serving out of their giftedness.

For example, the Chair of our Christian Education Committee had no interest in or talent for CE. I asked her the reason she was chairing the committee? "This was the only committee without a chair when I came on Session."

"Are you fulfilled in this role?"


"Do you want to chair this committee?"

"What else could I do?"

It was obvious to me that her gifts were in evangelism -- deeply spiritual and really welcoming with a heart for wanting others to come to know Jesus.

I suggested that she might attend a class offered by a sister church on Evangelism. Which she did. She came back enthused and on fire -- as much on fire as she is capable of being as a Southern lady.

Providentially, our chair of Evangelism moved away. "Hey, would you consider chairing the Evangelism Committee?"

"Do you think I could?"

"Yes, I think this is where your heart is and your gifts are."

WOW! Has she exceeded my expectations. We have had two door to door canvessings with invitational bags for an OPEN HOUSE (200 homes) and doorhangs (200 homes) and invitational bags (200 homes) for Special Advent programs. These outings and events have drawn in the active participation of a large percentage of our membership and have enthused them.

So, helping people learn to work out of their spiritual giftedness is the way to go, IMHO. Teach, preach and talk about spiritual gifts and even begin to use spiritual gift inventories to help people discern where God has gifted them for service.

Until then the hat will have to do!

Grace and Peace,