Archive for March, 2009

Dare to Care/Care to Dare


I have found myself on both sides of leadership in the church. I have held positions of leadership where I was directly responsible for people serving with me, and I’ve held down a pew at times. There have been times when I’ve helped as a volunteer and even “lay-leadership”. I’ve seen the church from almost every angle out there (except for Senior or Lead Pastor roles… God be with you all). It has been easy to fall into two basic roles: the leader that thinks I know better than the “volunteer” and the volunteer that thinks the “paid” guys should do all the hard stuff, “just sign me up for anything FUN!”

Today I was reading in “Seeking His Mind” by Fr. M. Basil Pennington. The title of today’s reading is “Not Far-But Not There Yet”. He asks, “Are we indeed lacking in soul?” Using a story in Mark 12, he tells of this exchange between a young scribe and Jesus in which the greatest commandment is being discussed.  He points out that we don’t really have a problem with heart (“willpower), mind (“understanding”), or strength (“doing”). However, soul (“source of caring”) seems to be a little tougher. He concludes with this:

“We haven’t arrived at fulfilling the most important commandment, if we have not cultivated a tender, caring love for the Lord Jesus, for it is precisely in him that we find our God. Nor have we fulfilled it if we do not cultivate the same tender, caring love for our neighbors-our friends, our brothers and sisters, our colleagues, our companions on the journey toward the reign of God in our lives and in our world.

How far are we from the kingdom of God?”

(I’m continuing 30 hrs later so my thoughts may be scattered)

Dare to Care-Let’s play the volunteer role for a sec. Or, maybe you can relate to a “lower on the totem pole” position on your job. Maybe you do all the hard work while middle management ruins your life, and upper management is trying to convince you to care about the company.

I dare you-dare yourself-to care about the world around you. You’re surrounded by people that need someone to care. And I’m not talking just about the bum on the street or the abused and neglected in the world. Your boss needs someone to care. The ministry staff needs someone to care.

For me it’s back to the church. It’s easy to slip through the cracks and not really care. Why should I? “No one is paying me to care.” “It’s not my responsibility to care.” “My opinion doesn’t matter anyway.”

BULL @#!$% (MALARKEY)! Care…about your church. Care…about your leaders. Care…about your responsibility. I dare you to care just as much as if you were paid to care.

Care to Dare-Shall we put on the leadership hat? I think I’m pretty smart. In fact, I’m smarter than most. Well, I was…I’m not really paid for that anymore. Sound ridiculous? It’s not as ridiculous as thinking just because you’re paid to do something, you’re the only one that can or may do it. I’ve been down that road!

The problem is not really ego or arrogance. The problem is hording. When you save all the “important” stuff for yourself, you’re keeping other people from having a little adventure. Care enough about the people you serve to dare them into action.

Dare people to do things they don’t know they can do. Dare people to rise above the mundane. Dare people to care as if they were paid to care.