by Phil Miller–
My Pentecost sermon referred to “Everything’s Alright,” a song from Jesus Christ Superstar. Another song from that work is called, “What’s the Buzz?”
Eight (8) times the apostles repeat the question:
What’s the buzz?
Tell me what’s happening.
Why should you want to know?
Don’t you mind about the future?
Don’t you try to think ahead?
Save tomorrow for tomorrow;
Think about today instead.
I could give you facts and figures.
Even give you plans and forecasts.
This song finds its way to the surface of my thoughts as I settle in to work with you. Normally, members of a congregation, like invested members of any large organization, find it difficult to move into the second step of a transition. The first step is letting go of what was. In our case, the weeks after the pastor’s departure provided a buffer, a time for acknowledging the end of an era.
The second step is to move into “limbo land,” the indeterminate state between what was and what will be, between the old reality and the not-yet. The “buzz” I want you to understand is, we should not rush through “limbo land.” We should not try to escape this zone even though it is a place of uncertainty. This is the most important stage of transition. It’s where creativity can take place. It’s where we will find new patterns and throw away habits that no longer work. For those who embrace the journey, it can be fun.
Even so, it can be an anxious time. Like kids in the backseat on a long trip, we may start asking, “Are we there yet? When are we gonna get there?” The answer is, we have to cover the mileage, and that takes several months.
The next thing you know, our Board will appoint a small number of members to a Discovery Team. This group will work with me to engage the congregation in a variety of self-study activities. We’ll all need to take a deep breath—that is, a breath of God’s Spirit. We’ll need to slow down from any anxious rush to close the gap as we reaffirm our spiritual roots. We’ll need to take a fresh look at the changing generations, and the changes in our community.
The Discovery Team will provide the Search Committee with the “discoveries” of the congregation’s self-study. In due course, this connection will sharpen the focus of the Search Committee both in presenting a profile of First Christian of Greensboro and in discerning which candidate is best suited for shepherding the vision of this church.
Meanwhile, as the “Musical Jesus” sang, “Save tomorrow for tomorrow; think about today instead.”
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