Friday, January 27, 2012

Congregational Annual Meetings and the Currency of Passion

In my tradition, many congregations are conducting an annual meeting this Sunday. Most of the energy and time in preparing this meeting is placed toward concocting a budget, and the recipe often calls for blood squeezed from turnips.

The discussion leading up to and during these meetings highlights desperate pleas for greater revenues/offering and/or cutting staff and programs. The efforts to change the community via budget policy and concoctions often resembles the making New Year's resolutions on December 30th while stuffing a mouth full of stale Christmas cookies. The habits don't often change in the long term from these annual tantrums about the way we're living our lives.

The change necessary for a congregation is cultural and spiritual, and does not require money. The currency for the congregation is passion, and passion is poorly invested if it's all deposited in the annual meeting and budget formulation.

A better congregational meeting involves passion that will be invested for the sake of ministry, because passion is valuable these days.

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