Friday, January 13, 2012

Community with accountability

For years at Central we've been using this phrase: "Community with accountability." So often churches try to be Nice Places and we think (mistakenly) that this means never holding people accountable, never talking about the hard things. Not true. So for the last several years Central has been making strides -- first among the staff, then working out into relationships within the congregation -- to live in community, bearing each others burdens, caring for one another, being part of each other's lives. And we've tried to do this with accountability, so that each person who is part of that community recognizes that our own actions and attitudes impact others.

It's a good way to live.

It's good even on days like today when I'm faced with more accountability than I would like.

You see, two things are hitting me in the brain and the heart this morning. First, this is Friday, and I have been trying for several months now to take Fridays as a sabbath day, a day of rest. Today isn't going to be one. There are just too many "have-to's" on my list today, and that is the quickest way to wreck a sabbath day. Oh, I'll take some rest time here and there -- a couple hours -- but it's not going to be the sabbath practice I have set as a goal and really come to love. So I know there are people who will call me to task for this. In fact, anticipating the way this week was going, my wife has already asked me when I'm going to get some rest time. She's asked this several times. Community with accountability.

The second thing that is on my brain and my heart this morning is a conversation I had with Terry several weeks ago. Terry is a coach we've brought in to work with our staff at Central. He's good stuff, even if he is a Dodgers fan. He knows how to comfort and encourage, and he also knows how to ask the hard questions. So just before Christmas he asked me if I had to give up everything on my plate work-wise except one thing, what would I choose? He gently pointed out that I have way too many plates spinning, that this is a sure recipe for burnout, and that when I'm trying to keep so many projects in the air I won't do any of them well. (My assignment prior to this phone call was to come up with a list of three goals for 2012. Terry read my goals and pointed out that I had included three numbered paragraphs, but in those paragraphs I had eight goals. Ouch.) So my assignment these last weeks has been to think about -- not necessarily make any drastic decisions -- what I would do if I could only do one thing.

In some ways I think it would be a relief to only be doing eight things.

I am supposed to talk to Terry again on Monday. I haven't come up with any solutions -- just trying to keep the plates spinning. I'm not sure I'm going to like the accountability end of our conversation.

The trouble is, most of what I do I really, really love. And I think it's really, really important. And if I don't do it, it won't get done. Then there are other things that other people think are really important, and I kind of think so as well, so I'm doing them because ... well, because I think I should. Then there are the things I'm doing just because they sound like fun, and then I get into the middle of them and realize that I'm not at all excited about them because I'm just too overcommitted, and I wish I could back out but I really can't.

Any of this sound familiar? I don't think I'm alone here.

What's the answer? Not sure. Hopefully I'll figure it out in the next 48 hours, or else maybe Terry can clear that up for me on Monday.

No comments:

Post a Comment