Staying Under the Radar
For a long time I followed the advice that sounded quite good. "Stay under the radar". Apparently if you stay under the radar, you won't get asked to do those pesky tasks that no one else wants to do. You'll never be asked to chair the "committee for the statistical analysis of people who use social networking who may or may not be interested in church, social justice, or low-carb diets."
Sounded good to me. I really hate the "c" word. I prefer "task force" but even that is sounding too committee-like so I'm gonna have to come up with another name like "mission enforcement". Kind of gives committees new power that they all really want anyway.
In any case the under the radar philosophy was working quite well for me. I was the person in the back of the room at the meetings that you think was there but you're not really sure unless you look at the sign in sheet. I didn't get asked to do more than pray for someone's cousin's next-door neighbor's aunt who was having an endoscopy this week.
Then I got THE CALL. (yeah that one that preachers always talk about) I tried to apply this stay under the radar theory to my ministry. I was very hands on and really loved the people I worked with at the church but I tried to just lay low and hope for the best as far as my superiors were concerned. It worked too. I'm pretty sure that my DS didn't really know my name and that I knew only a handful of other pastors in my annual conference of the UMC.
Its easy to do with the following three step approach:
1) Wear the uniform. For pastors in the traditional church this is a dark blue, black or gray suit. In the contemporary church its jeans and a plaid camp shirt.
2) Always be the photographer. That way you'll never be in the pictures.
3) Never have a creative title. Pastor of Young Adult Ministries is more easily forgotten than Pastor of Ministries for Children and Children with Disabilities.
But as it always happens, when you really, really follow THE CALL, you end up ON the radar. If you are doing anything active at all, people start to notice. When you show God's love to others, there is a response. It maybe that they think you're a nut and avoid you in the future but you are now ON their radar. No matter what you wear, who you hang with, or what your position, you're making your mark with God's help.
Now I've followed God's call to Marietta and Cartersville, Georgia. I've got two appointments in two different districts with two new churches and we are both doing amazing things. I'm blinking BIG on the radar and I feel that I'm right where God want's me to be.
So go ahead and take the jump. Get onto the radar in a big way. Its the only way to make sure you take off and land safely and follow the path that God wants you too. Plus, you'll get to have my famous chocolate pie at the next committee meeting!
Until Everyone Hears,