Sometimes it feels like I’m spinning plates.
As a child I was mesmerized by that act on variety shows; the first plate and second would go up on the pole, spinning like mad. It seemed doable. But then the artist (‘cause that has to be an art) would suddenly have a dozen plates spinning, running from one to another when it seemed it might topple over. And just like that, when the time was right, each plate would be removed and a bow waken for a performance well done.
Ministry is an exercise in plate spinning.
There are sermons to prepare. But there is also pastoral care to be given, committee meetings to attend, leadership to develop, books to read, facilities to maintain… the list goes on and on. Back to our plate spinner. Notice she always keeps her eyes on the plates? Never looks up, around or ahead. And I think that’s where we as church leaders are challenged.
We can’t afford not to look up, around or ahead. We need to keep all those plates spinning as well as be in conversation and planning about community engagement, inclusion and equity, as well as the church’s future and sustainability. And more.
At times it feels like a whole heck of a lot. Because it is.
Church, we are blessed that we don’t do this plate spinning alone. We’re connectional and can (and I think should) lean on each other for strength and creativity. We also trust in an omniscient God who sustains and empowers us for the work to which we are called. The very same God who has called us to be church for millennia.
Permit me to invite you to the NEXT Church National Gathering, hosted at Seattle First Presbyterian Church on March 11-13. NEXT Church Gathering 2019
(Registration closes on March 1)
Come join hundreds of other plate spinners who are seeking ways to be faithful and innovative in the church. I look forward to seeing you there!
Rev. Eliana Maxim
Associate Executive Presbyter