Committees get a bad rap. We often joke around in Baptist circles about these decision making groups in our church bodies. Many say that we Baptists have a committee for everything and though I disagree, I do appreciate the numerous committees and the generous folks in our congregation that comprise their numbers.
I think I can confidently say that I believe Poplar Springs does committee work right. Please note I did not say perfect. But in my almost 40 years of working in churches, I have discovered that Poplar Springs takes seriously the work of the committee. This church realizes that there is value in shared ministry. I realized the value of this in my first few years of vocational ministry. In those days, I was under the impression that I could do it all and I didn’t need to burden the good folks in the church community. We had committees but I felt like some would rather that I just go ahead and make the decision and perform the task. My inadequacies became evident and my family life took a hit. From the depths of ministerial despair, I wrote one of the first of numerous poems to help me deal with my lack of confidence in seeking the help of willing congregations. I wish I could find one of my most impressive work “Delegate” which began with the line, “I’ve encountered a serious problem, in fact it’s quite a pill. My ministry’s ineffective and my life has lost its thrill.” The poetic masterpiece includes a repetitive chorus that offers the remedy for my ministerial misery, “I need to delegate, yes, delegate. Will someone else do the things I hate?”
Delegation and shared ministry are not code words for getting the fine people of a particular congregation to do the undesirable. It’s just that I could not find a good word to rhyme with “delegate.” Instead, I believe it is a divine process in the church which seeks to locate and employ those with particular gifts, talents, and abilities in the work of the local congregation. A church needs willing people to minister and serve a needy world. And this cannot be accomplished through the efforts of one preacher – even a preacher like me who has a staff that does more than their share of the work.
This brings us back to my original declaration of admiration for the various committees at Poplar Springs. I appreciate willing church members because, for the most part, the vast majority of you have real jobs. You may work in a factory, a bank, a classroom or out in a field yet you generously give of your time and effort to work tirelessly for God and congregation. My brother brought this to my attention once as he said, in so many words, that sometime the folks on the church payroll fail to recognize that church volunteers have paying job too!
So thank you PSBC Nominating Committee for your God-ordained and spirit-led work in finding capable fellow ministers for this fine congregation and thank you volunteers for your sacrificial service in God’s church at Poplar Springs. Your efforts are appreciated by a most grateful pastor.
Andy O. (704) 300-0062