A friend and elder, many years ago, suggested that we open board meetings by sharing our “internal weather.” Brilliant.
This is much healthier than – for example – an elder coming into a meeting after being fired that day and – without anyone knowing how his day had gone – taking it out on the person making the financial report. Without necessarily sharing the details (because many of us are very private), elders on that Session would start meetings – each taking his or her turn – offering that things were “sunny” or “stormy” or “a front was coming in.” One person shared that she was in the throes of a tsunami and this was helpful information when it came time for her to make a report and she became a bit weepy.
Church people do not need to talk about making changes. All of us already know that our churches need to change for a new time and culture. It’s just exhausting to deal with those changes.
But what if we couched our conversations about change using weather analogies? For example, it would be interesting to ask church leaders what the weather is like for their congregations right now. Is there a drought? Are things clear and breezy? Is heavy accumulation a problem? Are we in a fog?
It feels easier to get conversations started this way as we consider how we need to prepare for the day. Will we need a shovel?