Churches and Road Construction

Written by Carl Greene

August 18, 2021

I do not like disruptions in my plans, especially when it involves driving. I find it incredibly inconvenient to have my schedule upended for road repairs where it looks like nothing is getting done. In the end though, I am convinced that the problem is not so much how little progress is being made at the construction site, but that my focus is entirely on myself rather than the common good. I want to get somewhere now. In act of driving, I sadly lose my care about the long-term repair.

A Different Fall Ministry Season. As we are approaching the Fall ministry season, we can have the same sort of impatience and focus on self. Life is different in this COVID shaped culture. As the church grapples with possible changes in the worship service, pruning certain ministries, or launching something new, we can become so focused on our own wants and preferences that we miss the patience required for “road construction.” Changes can be messy, slow to see fruit, and time consuming. At the same time, Spirit-led change that is tethered to Scripture truth is life giving to our covenant communities.

Leadership Development. Rather than seeing disruptions in our preferences and the inconveniences of change, we can also see the opportunity for launching and empowering new leaders in our church. Change and revitalization offer a tremendous opportunity to encourage emerging leaders to try out some new ideas and to gain experience in ministry passions that they feel nudged toward.

Here is the rub—it is not simply delegating existing ministry roles or tasks to emerging leaders so business gets done as usual with different faces. This is a season to consider sunsetting some ministry endeavors to make room for a next generation to engage in what God has shaped and prepared them for. Construction is messy and inconvenient. It is also what we desperately need. Blessings as we pray for and encourage our emerging leaders within our churches.

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