Mark's Minute

Feb 16 2017

While there are certain two-word combinations that excite me, there are also certain two-word combinations that bring about reactions that are, well, less than positive. Here are some examples of those: tax return (right?); small talk; Valentine’s Day (fortunately I’m married to someone who has the same reaction to that one).

The funny thing is that the same two-word combination that’s so exciting for one person can be incredibly boring for another. Here’s one to test that theory: church governance.

Some of you are like me, and that two-word combination is really exciting. Others of you are so put off by it that your mouse pointer is currently hovering over the “close window” button on your browser, and it’s all you can do right now not to click.

If that’s you, your reaction might be a result of past experiences. You associate church governance with boring details, or heated discussions, or Robert’s Rules, or just general malaise (and please note the amazing series of two-word combinations in the preceding sentence).

But if that’s you, then I want to challenge you to think differently. This Sunday evening, Parkland is holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 7:00 at the church. The meeting is open to everyone who calls Parkland their church home, whether you’re a member or not (although if you’re not a member, you won’t be able to vote).

This is my first AGM at Parkland, but it’s not my first church AGM. I’ll be the first to admit that church meetings are sometimes pretty boring affairs, and I’ve been in my share of them. But the thing is that they don’t have to be. And they shouldn’t be. 

As Baptists, we believe that the congregation is the primary governing body in the church. We believe that the congregation is the first link in the chain of Jesus distributing his authority on earth, and that the congregation, when it gathers together for the purpose of making decisions, is in a unique position to hear the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

That’s a pretty exciting reality. That’s actually the opposite of boring.

So I would encourage you to participate in that process this Sunday. Will it be exciting? Well, if “exciting” means pyrotechnics and tigers, then no, it won’t be. But if “exciting” means being able to listen to the Spirit’s voice, discern together where he wants us to go, and then making plans to move forward, then yes, it will be. It’s all in how you set your expectations.

Maybe what I just said isn’t enough to overcome your pre-existing feelings, but I hope it’s enough to help you at least see a different perspective and be willing to put that perspective to the test. See you Sunday.